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RILEY,  Jas.  An  Authentic  Narrative 
of  the  Loss  of  the  American  Brig  Com- 
imerce,  wrecked  on  the  Western  Coast  of 
Africa,  in  the  Month  of  Aug.,  1815.  With 
an  Account  of  the  Sufferings  of  her  Sur- 
viving Oiificers  &  Crew,  who  were  en- 
slaved by  the  Wandering  Arabs  on  the 
Great  African  esert,  or  Zahahrah.  Map; 
Plates  by  A.  Anderson,  Gimbrede.  8vo. 
calf  (joint  broken).  N.  Y.,  T.  &  W.  Mer- 
cein  for  the  Author,  1817.  $4.00 

First  and  best  edition  of  this  one-time  famous  and 
immensely  popular   narrative   of   suffering   and   adveture. 

At  the  end  the  former  slave  expresses  his  horror  of 
American  slavery:  "I  HAVE  LEARNED  TO  LOOK 

.  Digitized  by  the  Internet  Arclnive 

in  2010  with  funding  from 

The  Institute  of  Museum  and  Library  Services  through  an  Indiana  State  Library  LSTA  Grant 

(Xmlwde    ST. 

(DAFT  JAMlKiS    IRHH^M^rc 

Arit//rnt  1/  for  /iix  /Yfrr/vrfn  r    z'/'    Siifffn/if/j: 
/ini/  7  rill  r/.y  //i  .  tO-im  . 



OF   THE    LOSS   OF    THE 


OF  AUGUST,  1815. 



OF    HER 




"""      AND 




ED WASSANAH ;  narrated  to  the  author  at  m^gadore,  by  SIDI  HA- 





By  T.  &  W.  Mercein,  No.  93  Gold-Street. 

•  •  •• ••• 


v"*     # 

Southern  District  of  New-York,  S». 

BE  IT  REMEMBERED,  That  ou  the  third  day  of  October,  is  the  foKy- 
Srst  year  of  the  Independence  of  the  United  States  of  America,  [A.  D.  1816,]  James 
Riley,  of  the  said  District,  hath  deposited  in  this  Office  the  title  of  a  Book,  the  right 
whereof  he  claims  as  Author  and  Proprietor,  in  the  words  and  figures  following,  to  wit : 

"  An  Authentic  Narrative  of  the  loss  of  the  American  brig  Commerce,  wrecked  on  the 
WcstemCoast  of  Africa,  in  the  month  of  August,  1815.  With  an  account  of  the  suffer- 
ings of  her  surviving  Officers  and  Crew,  who  were  enslaved  by  the  wandering  Arabs 
on  the  great  African  Desart,  or  Zahahrah  ;  and  observations  Historical,  Geographical, 
&c  made  during  the  Travels  of  the  Author,  while  a  slave  to  the  Arabs,  and  in  the 
Empire  of  Morocco.  By  James  Riley,  late  Master  and  Supercargo ;  preceded  by  a 
brief  sketch  of  the  Author's  life,  and  concluded  by  a  description  of  the  famous  city  of 
Tornbuctoo,  on  the  River  Niger,  and  of  another  large  city  far  south  of  it,  on  the  same 
ri^er,  called  Wassanah,  narrated  to  the  Author  at  Mogadore,  by  Sidi  Hamet,  the 
Arabian  merchant ;  with  an  Arabic  and  English  Vocabulary ;  Illustrated  and  Embel- 
lished with  ten  handsome  coppei-plate  Engravings. 

In  conformity  to  the  Act  of  the  Congress  of  the  United  States,  entitled  "  An  Act  for 
the  encouragement  of  Learning,  by  securing  the  copies  of  Maps,  Charts  and  Books  to 
the  Authors  and  Proprietors  of  such  copies,  during  the  time  therein  mentioned." 
And  also  to  an  Act,  entitled  "  an  Act,  supplementary  to  an  Act,  entitled  an  Act  for 
the  encouragement  of  Learning,  by  securing  the  copies  of  Maps,  Charts  and  Books 
to  the  >iUthors  and  Proprietors  of  such  copies,  during  the  times  therein  mentioned, 
and  extending  the  benefits  thereof  to  the  arts  of  designing,  engraving,  and  etching 
histerical  and  other  prints." 

THERON  RUDD,  Clerk  of  the 

Sonlhem  District  of  New-Yerkv 




The  following  Narrative  of  my  misfortunes  and 
sufferings,  and  my  consequent  travels  and  observa- 
tions in  Africa,  is  submitted  to  the  perusal  of  a  can- 
did and  an  enlightened  public,  with  much  diffidence, 
particularly  as  I  write  without  having  had  the  ad- 
vantages that  may  be  derived  from  an  Academic 
education,  and  being  quite  unskilled  in  the  art  of 
composing  for  the  press.  My  aim  has  been  merely 
to  record,  in  plain  and  unvarnished  language,  scenes 
in  which  I  was  a  principal  actor,  of  real  and  heart- 
appalling  distresses.  The  very  deep  and  indelible 
impression  made  on  my  mind  by  the  extraordinary 
circumstances  attending  my  late  shipwreck,  and  the 
miserable  captivity  of  myself  and  my  surviving  ship- 
mates, and  believing  that  a  knowledge  of  many  of 
these  incidents  might  prove  useful  and  interesting  to 
the  world,  as  well  as  peculiarly  instructive  to  my 
sea-faring  brethren;  together  with  the  strong  and 
repeated  solicitations  of  many  of  my  valuable  friends, 
among  whom  was  the  honourable  James  Munroe, 
Secretary  of  State,  and  several  distinguished  mem- 
bers of  Congress :  these  considerations,  together 
with  a  view  of  being  enabled  by  my  labours  to  afford 
some  relief  to  the  surviving  sufferers,  and  the  desti- 
tute families  of  that  part  of  my  late  crew,  whose  lot 
it  was  to  perish  in  Africa,  or  who  are  still  groaning 
out  the  little  remains  of  their  existence  in  the  cruel 
bonds  of  barbarian  slavery,  have  induced  me  to  un- 
dertake the  very  arduous  and  difficult  task  of  pre- 
paring and  publishing  a  work  so  large  and  expen- 


The  Narrative  up  to  the  time  of  my  redemptioR. 
was  written  entirelj  from  memory,  unaided  bj  notes 
or  any  journal,  but  I  committed  the  principal  facts 
to  writing  in  Mogadore,  when  every  circumstance 
was  fresh  in  ray  memory,  (which  is  naturaHy  a  re- 
tentive one,)  and  I  then  compared  my  own  recollec- 
tions with   those  of  ray  ransomed  companions :  this 
was  done  with  a  view  of  showing  to  my  friends  the 
unparalleled  sufferings  I  had  endured,  and  not  for  the 
particular  purpose  of  making  them  public  by  means 
of  the   press.      It  should  be     remembered   by   the 
reader,   that   the  occurrences   here   recorded,  took 
place  out  of  the  common   course  of  a  sailor's  life ; 
and  that  each  particular  event  was  of  a  nature  cal- 
culated to  impress  itself  so  powerfully  on  the  mind, 
as  not  easily  to  be  effaced.     Having  previously,  in 
the  course  of  my  life,  visited  and  travelled  through 
several  foreign  countries,  my  mind  was  by  no  means 
unaccustomed  to  pay  attention  to,  and  make  obser- 
vations on  whatever  came  within  the  reach  of  my 
notice,  and  for  this  reason,  the  strange  events  of  the 
desart,  and  the  novel  objects-and  scenes  which  I  had 
an  opportunity  of  witnessing  in  the  country  of  the 
Moors,  were  not  suffered  to  pass  without  awakening 
and  exercising  my  curiosity  as  well  as  interest,  and 
becoming  the  subject  of  careful  and  habitual  reflec- 

Respecting  ray  conversations  with  the  Arabs,  I 
have  put  down  Avhat  I  knew  at  the  time  to  be  their 
exact  meaning,  as  nearly  as  I  could  translate  their 
words  and  signs  combined.  I  had,  previously,  learn- 
ed the  French  and  Spanish  languages,  both  by  gram- 
mar and  practice,  and  had  also  been  accustomed  to 
hear  spoken  the  Russian  and  different  dialects  of  the 
German,  as  well  as  the  Portuguese,  Italian,  and 
several  other  languages,  so  that  my  ear  had  become 
familiar  with  their  sounds  and  pronunciation.     Per- 


ceiving  an  affinity  between  the  Arabian  and  Spanish, 
I  soon  began  to  learn  the  names  of  common  things, 
in  Arabic,  and  to  compare  them  in  my  mind  with 
those  I  had  met  with  in  Turkish  and  other  Oriental 
history.     I  had  no  hope  of  ever  being  redeemed, 
unless  I  could  make  myself  understood,  and  I  there- 
fore took  the  utmost  care  to  treasure  up  every  word 
and  sentence  I  heard  spoken  by  the  Arabs,  to  reflect 
on  their  bearing,  and  to  find  out  their  true  meaning, 
by  which  means,  in  the  course  of  a  very  few  days,  I 
was  enabled  to  comprehend  the  general   tenor  and 
drift  of  their  ordinary  conversation,  and  to  find  out 
the  whole  meaning  of  tht  ir  signs  and  gestures.     My 
four  companions,  however,  could  scarcely  compre- 
hend a  single  word  of  Arabic,  even  after  they  were 

In  regard  to  the  route,  and  various  courses  of  our 
travel,  1  would  observe,  that  after  I  was  purchased 
by  the  Arabian  merchants,   and  taken  off  across  the 
desart ;  I  was  suffering  under  the  most  excruciating 
bodily  pains  as  well  as  the  most  cruel  privations;  it 
will  not,  therefore,  be  a  matter  of  wonder,  if  on  this 
vast,   smooth,  and  trackless  desart,  I  should  have 
mistaken  one  eastern  course  for  another,  or  have 
erred  in  computing  the  distances  travelled  over;  for 
I  was  frequently  in  such  agony,  and  so  weighed  down 
with  weariness  and  despair,  that  a  day  seemed  to 
me  of  endless  duration.     A  long  experience  on  the 
ocean  had  before  taught  me  to  ascertain  the  latitude 
by  the  apparent  height  of  the  polar  star  above  the 
horizon,  so  that  in  this  particular,  I  could  not  be 
much  mistaken;  and  the  tending  of  the  coast  where 
our  boat  was  driven  on  shore,  proves  it  must  have 
been  near  Cape  Barbas.     After  we  approached  the 
sea-coast  again,  I  became  more  attentive  to  the  sur- 
rounding objects,  as  my  hopes  of  being  ransomed 
increased,  so  that  not  only  the  courses,  but  the  dis- 


tances  as  I  have  given  them,  will  agree  in  all  their 
essential  points. 

The  designs  for  the  engravings  were  drawn  from 
my  own  original  sketches ;  (and  they  were  merely 
rough  sketches,  for  I  have  no  skill  in  drawing;)  they 
have,  however,  been  executed  by  artists  of  consi- 
derable repute,  and  under  my  own  inspection. 

In  compiling  the  map,  particular  care  has  been 
taken  to  consult  the  best  authorities,  but  I  considered, 
at  the  same  time,  that  the  information  I  received 
from  my  old  Arabian  master,  was  sufficiently  cor- 
rect, and  would  warrant  me  in  giving  full  scope  to 
my  consequent  geographical  impressions,  in  tracing 
the  river  Niger  to  the  Atlantic  ocean.  Admitting 
that  my  idea  prove  hereafter  to  be  just,  and  that 
this  river  actually  discharges  its  waters  with  those 
of  the  Congo,  into  the  gulf  of  Guinea,  I  am  of 
opinion,  that  not  less  than  one-fourth  of  the  whole 
distance  in  a  straight  line,  should  be  added  for  its 
bends  and  windings,  in  order  to  calculate  its  real 

While  I  was  at  Mogadore,  a  number  of  singular 
and  interesting  transactions  took  place,  such  as  do 
not  often  occur  even  in  that  country ;  and  a  person 
might  reside  there  for  many  years,  without  having 
an  opportunity  of  witnessing  a  repetition  of  them ; 
yet  their  authenticity,  as  well  as  that  of  the  other 
circumstances  I  have  related,  can  be  substantiated  by 
many  living  witnesses, — men  of  respectability  and 
unquestionable  veracity. 

My  observations  on  the  currents  which  have  here- 
tofore proved  fatal  to  a  vast  number  of  vessels,  and 
their  crews,  on  the  western  coast  of  Africa,  are 
made  with  a  view  to  promote  the  further  investiga- 
tion of  this  subject,  as  well  as  to  caution  the  unwary 
mariner  against  their  too  often  disastrous  efFects. 

It  gives  me  sincere  pleasure,  to  acknowledge  the 
services  rendered  me  by  my  respectable  friend,  An- 


thony  Bleecker,  Esquire,  of  New-York,  who  has,  at 
my  request,  revised  the  whole  of  my  written  manu- 
script, and  suggested  some  very  important  explana- 
tions. I  have  been  governed,  in  my  corrections,  by 
his  advice  throughout,  which  was  of  a  character  that 
can  only  flow  from  the  most  pure  and  disinterested 
motives; — his  talents,  judgment,  and  erudition,  have 
contributed,  in  a  considerable  degree,  to  smooth 
down  the  asperities  of  ray  unlearned  style,  and  he 
is  pre-eminently  entitled  to  my  warmest  thanks. 

To  my  very  intimate  friend,  Mr.  Josiah  Shippey, 
Jun.  of  New- York,  I  am  under  many  obligations — 
he  has  separately  perused  my  whole  manuscript, 
with  great  care  and  interest,  and  has  suggested  im- 
provements, both  in  pointof  diction  and  grammar; — 
his  highly  classical  learning,  together  with  his  pious 
adherence  to  the  true  principles  of  sound  morality, 
and  his  friendly  advice,  have  been  of  essential  utility, 
and  are  highly  appreciated. 

With  respect  to  the  extraordinary  circumstance 
mentioned  in  the  Narrative,  of  the  sudden  subsiding 
of  the  surf,  when  we  were  about  committing  our- 
selves to  the  open  sea,  in  our  shattered  boat,  I  am 
aware  that  it  will  be  the  subject  of  much  comment, 
and,  probably,  of  some  raillery.  I  was  advised  by 
a  friend,  to  suppress  this  fact,  lest  those  who  are  not 
disposed  to  believe  in  the  particular  interposition  of 
Divine  Providence,  should  make  use  of  it  as  an  ar- 
gument against  the  correctness  of  the  other  parts  of 
my  Narrative.  This,  probably,  would  have  been 
good  policy  in  me,  as  a  mere  author,  for  I  am  pretty 
sure  that  previous  to  this  signal  mercy,  I  myself 
would  have  entertained  a  suspicion  of  the  veracity 
of  a  writer  who  should  have  related  what  to  me 
would  have  appeared  such  an  improbable  occur- 
rence. Sentiments  and  feelings,  however,  of  a  very 
dilfercnt  kind  from  any  that  mere  worldly  interest 

\m  .  TO  THE  READER. 

can  excite,  forbid  me  to  suppress  or  deny  what  so 
clearly  appeared  to  me  and  my  companions  at  the 
time,  as  the  immediate  and  merciful  act  of  the  Al- 
mighty, listening  to  our  prayers,  and  granting  our 
petition,  at  the  awful  moment  when  dismay,  despair, 
and  death,  were  pressing  close  upon  us  with  all  their 
accumulated  horrors.  My  heart  still  glows  with 
holy  gratitude  for  this  mercy,  and  J  will  never  be 
ashamed  nor  afraid  to  acknowledge  and  make  known 
to  the  world,  the  infinite  goodness  of  my  divine  Cre- 
ator and  Preserver.  "  The  waters  of  the  sea  had 
well-nigh  covered  us :  the  proud  waves  had  well- 
nigh  gone  over  our  soul.  Then  cried  we  unto  thee, 
O  Lord,  and  thou  didst  deliver  us  out  of  our  dis- 
tresses. Thou  didst  send  forth  thy  commandment  j 
and  the  windy  storm  ceased,  and  was  turned  into  a 



CHAP.  I. 

A  brief  sketch  of  the  Author's  Life  and  Education,  up  to  the 
month  of  May,    1815 1 

CHAP.  11. 

Voyage  in  the  Commerce  from  Connecticut  River  to  New 
Orleans  -        -         --         -         --         -         7 


Voyage  from  Gibraltar  towards  the  Cape  de  Verd  Islands, 
including  the  shipwreck  of  the  brig  Commerce  on  the  coast 
of  Africa 13 


Description  of  the  natives — they  make  war  upon  the  crew, 
and  drive  them  off  to  the  wreck  -         -         -         -         19 


The  natives  seize  the  author  by  perfidy,  and  then  get  possession 
of  the  money — the  author's  critical  situation  on  shore — he 
escapes  to  the  wreck — Antonio  Michel  is  massacred  -         30 


(To  commence  at  the  word  *  hostilities.') 
Providential  preservation  through  the  surf  to  the  open  ocean — 
sufferings  in  their  shattered  boat  nine  days  at'^ea — landing 
againon  the  frightful  coast   of  the  African  Desart  -         3" 


Sufferings  of  the  crew,  and  manner  of  climbing  over  the  rocks 
along  the  sea-shore,  under  high  cliffs — reaching  the  surface 
of  the  desart — meeting  with  a  company  of  wandering  AraJbs, 
hy  Tvhom  they  are  seized  as  slaves,  and  stripped  naked      -      SL 



CHAP.  VIII.      • 

The  author  and  his  crew  are  carried  on  camels  into  the  interior 
of  the  Desartof  Sahara — the  Arabs  hold  a  council — the  crew 
are  sold  and  distributed— ihe  author's  remarkable  dream 
■ — the  skin  and  ^esh  are  literally  roasted  off  from  his  body, 
and  from  the  bones  of  his  companions — their  dreadful  suf- 
ferings while  naked  and  wandering  about  the  Desart  with 
their  masters,  subsisting  only  on  a  little  camel's  milk — two 
Arab  traders  arrive  -         -         -         -         -         -71 


Two  Arabian  merchants  are  persuaded  by  the  author  to 
purchase  him  and  four  of  his  suffering  companions — they 
kill  a  camel  and  prepare  to  set  out  for  Morocco  across  the 
Desart  -         -        -        -        -        -        -        -         99 

CHAP.    X. 

The  author  and  four  of  his  companions  set  out  to  cross  the 
Desart — their  sufferings — they  come  to  a  spring  of  fresh 
water — description   of  its  singular  situation  -         -         115 


Journeying  on  the  Desart — they  are  hospitably  entertained 
by  Arabs,  and  come  to  a  well  of  fresh  water  -         -         12S 


They  arrive  amongst  immense  mountains  of  driving  sand — 
their  extreme  s  .fferings — iheir  masters  find,  and  steal  some 
barley,  and  restore  it  again        -----         134 


Continuation  of  the  Journey  on  the  Desart — several  singular 
occurrences — they  come  within  sight  of  the  Ocean         -         1 44 

CHAP.    XIV. 

They  travel  along  the  sea-coast  under  the  high  banks — fall 
in  with,  and  join  a  company  of  Arabs — travel  in  the  night 
for  fear  of  robbers — Mr.  Savage  faints — is  near  being  mas- 
sacred, and  is  rescued  by  the  author  -        -        -        160 



Black  mountains  appear  in  the  east — they  come  to  a  river  of 

salt  '.vster,  aa.i  to  wells  of  fresh  water,  wlipre  they  find  many 
horsps — description  of  a  singular  plant — come  to  cultivated 
land  ;  to  a  fresh  water  river,  and  a  few  stone  huts  -  169 


The  company  is  divided — 'hey  set  off  to  the  Eastward — their 
masters  are  attacked  by  a  band  of  robbers      '      -         -  180 


Some  fresh  fish  are  procured— they  pass  several  small  walled 
villages,  and  meet  with  robbers  on  horseback  -         -  186 


Their  masters  commit  an  error,  which  they  are  compelled  to 
redress — Sidi  Haniet  and  his  brotlier  Seid  fight — Horace's 
critical  situation — ihey  come  to  villages  -         -         193 

CHAP.    XIX. 

The  author  writes  a  letter — Sidi  Haniet  sets  out  with  it  for 
Swearah — the  arrival  of  Sheick  Ali,  an  extraordinary 
character -  204 


A  Moor  arrives  from  Mogadore,  bringing  a  letter — the  letter — 
they  set  out  for  that  city  -         -         -  -         -         216 


They  come  near  the  ruins  of  a  city  where  two  battering 
machines  are  standing — iescription  of  them — ^tory  of  its 
destruction — they  cross  a  river,  and  a  fruitful  country — lodge 
in  a  city,  and  are  afterwards  stopped  by  Sheick  Ali  and  the 
prince  of  another  city       ..---.         227 


Rais  Bel  Cossim  gains  the  friendship  of  the  Prince — good 
provisions  are  procured — Sheick  Aii's  plans  miscarry — they 
set  off  for,  and  arrive  at  Santa  Cruz,  in  the  Empire  of 
.Morocco  -         '         -         -         -         -         .         -         350 



Sheick  Ali  out-manoeuvred  again  by  Rais  Bel  Cossim— they 
setoff  in  the  niglit — meet  witi)  Sidi  Hamet  and  his  brother, 
accouipanied  by  some  Moors  with  mules  sent  by  Mr.  Will- 
shire  for  the  sufferers  to  ride  on — occurrences  on  the  road — 
inett'iuf  with  Mr.  VVillshire  near  Swearah  orMoi;adore — they 
go  into  that  city — are  ordered  before  the  Bashaw         -         272 


The  author  and  his  companions  are  cleansed,  clothed,  and 
fed — he  becomes  delirious,  but  is  again  restored  to  reason 
•  — the  k'n  hiess  of  Mr.VVill.shirt — etter  fromHoralio  Sprague, 
Esq.  of  Gibraltar — author's  relkctions  on  his  past  sufferings, 
and  on  the  providential  chain  of  events  that  had  fitted  him 
for  enduring  them,  and  miraculously  supported  and  restored 
him  and  his  four  companions  to  their  liberty  -         -         29f 

.  CHAP.  XXV. 

The  author's  motives  for  requesting  of,  and  writing  down,  his 
former  master's  narrative  of  Travels  on  the  Desart  when  in 
Mogadore,  together  with  Sidi  Hamet's  narrative  of  a  journey 
acros?  the  great  Desart  to  Tombuctoo,  and  back  again  to 
W^idnoon,  with  a   caravan  -         ...         -         31g 

Section  I.  Sidi  Hamet's  riarrative  of  a  journey  from  Widnoon 
across  the  Great  Desart  to  Tombuctoo,  and  back  again  to 
'Widnoon 314 

Section  II.  Sidi  Hamet  sets  out  on  another  journey  for 
Tombuctoo — ^the  caravan  is  mostly  destroyed  for  want  of 
water,  by  dnfting  sand,  and  by  mutiny,  Lc. — the  few  that 
escape  get  to  the  south  of  the   Desart  -         -         -         32f 

Section  III.  Sidi  Hameffe  journeyings.  His  arrival  on  the 
banks  of  the  river  called  by  the  natives  Gozen  Zair,  and  at 
Tombuctoo — description  of  that  city — ^^its  commerce,  wealth, 
and  inhabitants 32S 

Seetioh  IV.  Sidi  Hamet  sets  out  for  Wassanali — his  arrival 
there,  and  description  of  that  city,  the  coiintry,  and  its  in- 
feabitants — of  the  great  river  which  runs  near  it,  and  of  bis 

<aONTENT«.  Xlll 

return  to'Tombuctoo — containing  also  the  author's  geographi- 
cal   opinions,  founded  on    the  narrative,  on  the  sources  of 
the  river  Niger — its   length   and    outlet    into    the  Atlantic 

Ocean  334 

Section  v.  Sidi  Hamet's  journey  from  Tombuctoo  to  Morocco 
by  the  eastern  route — his  description  of  the  Desart,  and 
of  the  country  on  both  sides  of  it — of  a  dreadful  battle  with 
the  wandering  Arabs — Sidi  Hamet  takes  his  leave  and  sets 
out    to  join  his  family      .--..-         345 


An  account  of  the   face  of  tlie  great  African  Desart  or  Zahah- 
rah — of  its  inhabitants,  their  custom?,  manners,  dress,  &c. 
"  — a  description  of  the  Arabian  camel  or  dromedary  353 


Some  account  of  Suse,  or  South  Barbary,  and  of  its  inhabi- 
tants, cities,  &c. — the  primitive  plough,  and  mode  of  using  it 
— primitive  churn,  and  method  of  making  butter  -         386 


Some  account  of  an  insurrection  in  Morocco—the  Bashaw  of 
Swearah  is  seized  and  put  in  irons—change  of  Governors — the 
Jews  are  forced  to  pay  their  tribute  or  turn  Mohammedans — 
their  treatment  by  the  Moor^—a  Jew  burial — a  circumcision — 
a  Jewish  priest  an  ives  from  Jerusalem--the  author  obtainsfrom 
him  some  account  of  the  present  Jerusalem  and  its  inhabitants, 
and  of  the  method  pursued  by  the  priests  for  getting  money 
from  the  Jews  in  Europe  and  in  Barbary — a  Moorish  execu- 
tion and  maiming — of  the  Jews  in  West  Barbary     -      -         393 


New  orders  arrive  from  the  Emperor— Mr.  Willshire  is  grossly 
insulted  by  the  Moors-— a  description  of  the  city  and  port  of 
Swearah,  or  Mogadore,  its  inhabitants,  commerce,  manufac- 
tures, &,c.  -         -        411 


Of  the  Moors  and  Moorish  Arabs—feast  of  expiation — A  Moorish 


rerie'wr  and  sham-fight---horseraanship— of  the  Arabian  horse 
and  his  furniture  -  .-..--     430 


The  present  Arabs  and  ancient  Jews  compared  -         -       445 


The  author  ships  his  companion*  on  board  a  vessel  for  Gibraltar, 
and  sets  out  himself  to  travel  by  land  for  Tangier— -villany 
ofhis  Jew  companion  --account  of  a  great  Moorish  saint-  de- 
scription of  the  country— of  the  towns--of  El  Ksebbah  and 
Safiy  -   • 453 


Continuation  of  the  journey — description  of  Asbedre — of  a 
flight  of  locu-t-; — of  the  destroying  locust  of  Africa — Maza- 
gan — Azamore — Darlbeda — Fidallah — arrival  at  Rabat — 
of  Rabat  - -         471 


Description  of  a  horrid  show  of  two  venomous  serpents — sets 
out  from  Rabat — of  Sallee,  Mamora,  Laresch — Spanish 
missionaries — Moorish  navy — arrival  at  Tangier  -  49fe 


Moorish  captives — of  Tangier  and  Christian  Consuls — pas- 
sage to  Gibraltar,  reception  there — embarks  for  America — 
observations  on  Gibraltar — passage  in  the  ship  Rapid — ar- 
rival at  Kew-York — visits  his  family — goes  to  Washington 
city,  the  seat  of  government,  and  concludes  with  brief  re- 
marks on  slavery  -  -  -         -  -         -         515 


Observations  on  the  winds,  currents,  &,c.  in  some  parts  of  the 
Atlantic  ocean,  developing  the  causes  of  so  many  ship- 
wrecks on  the  western  coast  of  Africa — mode  pointed 
out  for  visiting  the  famous  city  of  Tombucloo,  on  the  river 
Niger,  together  with  some  original  and  official  letters      -      535 

English  and  Arabic  Vocabulary. 


Pace      7,  second  line  from  top,  strike  out  "  written." 

8/  fifteenth  line  from  top,  for  "  Burlington  Heights"  reed  Bridge- 
14,  third  line  from  the  bottom,  for  "  Bagador"  rearf  Bajador. 
19,  third  line  from  lop,  for  "  coming,"  rend  combing. 
33,  twentieth  line  from  top,  for  "  a  hawser,"  read  the  hawser. 
41,  third  line  from  top,  before  "  we,"  insert  that. 
70,  fourth  line  from  bottom,  for  ''  an,"  read  the. 
78,  fifth  line  from  top,  for  "  struck,"  read  stuck. 
91.  eisrhtenntli  line  from  top,  for  "  way,"  read  day. 
94,  fifth  line  from  top,  for  "  was,"  read  were. 
131.  sixth  line  from  fop,  for  "  from  "  read  of 
138,  ninth  line  from  bottom,  over  the  letter  c  in  the  word  "  Fonte," 

put  the  mark  of  ihe  accent ' 
175,  first  and  second  lines,  for  "  but,"  read  and  ;  and  for  "  afford- 
ed," read  offered. 
269.  fourteenth  line,  for  "tenaced,"  rearf  terraced. 
310,  fifteenth  line,  strike  out  "  my." 

472,  third  line,  transpose  "  an,"  before  "old." 

473,  last  line  but  one,  for  "  possed,"  read  passed. 
476,  sixth  line,  for  "  bed-spreads,"  read  beds-spread. 
485,  seventeenth  line,  strike  out  (  ; )  and  insert  (  >  ) 

All  the  errors  in  punctuation  are  not  b«re  noticed. 


Captain  James  Riley  has  submitted  his  narrative  to  my  pe- 
rusal, and  1  have  read  it  over  with  great  care  and  attention.  I  was 
his  second  mate  on  board  the  Commerce,  and  one  of  his  unfortu- 
nate companions  throui;;h,  and  a  sharer  in  his  dreadful  suiferings 
and  captivity,  on  the  inhospitable  shores  and  desarts  of  Africa,  and 
I  am  astonished  to  find  with  what  precision  the  whole  of  those  inci- 
dents are  related — it  recalls  to  my  memory  all  those  dismal  occur- 
rences and  distresses,  and  I  do  hereby  certify  that  the  narrative  up 
to  the  time  of  our  separation  in  Mogadore,  contains  nothing  more 
than  a  plain  statement  of  facts,  and  that  myself,  as  well  as  others 
of  the  crew,  owe  our  lives,  liberties,  and  restoration  to  our  coun- 
try, under  God,  to  his  uncommon  exertions,  fortitude,  intelli- 
gence, and  perseverance,  and  I  hereby  request  him,  as  my  friend, 
lo  publish  this  my  certificate. 


Done  at  New-York,  this  \st  day  of} 
February,  A.  D.  loll.  ]    . 

From  the  Hon.  Da  Witt  Clinton, 

1  have  read  part  of  Captain  J.  Riley's  narrative  of  his  shipwreck 
on  the  coast  of  Africa,  and  of  his  travels  into  the  interior  of  that  con- 
tinent, and  I  am  of  opinion  that  this  work,  on  account  of  its  illus- 
trations of  the  geography  of  a  country  hitherto  so  little  known,  and 
its  descriptions  of  the  manners  and  customs  of  the  inhabitants,  will 
excitef  great  attention,  and  ought  to  command  public  pratronage  : 
while  its  affecting  details  of  the  extraordinary  sufferings  of  himself 
and  his  companions,  are  calculated,  in  an  uncommon  degree,  to 
interest  the  feelings  of  the  reader.  And,  as  Captain  Riley  is  a  man 
of  good  character  and  respectable  talents,  I  am  persuaded  that  the 
utmost  confidence  may  be  reposed  in  the  correctness  of  his  narrative. 


Dated  in  the  city  of  JVew-York, 
f!i€  llih  December,  1816. 



A  brief  Sketch  of  the  Author's  Life  and  Education, 
up  to  the  month  of  Mai/,  1815. 

I  WAS  born  in  the  town  of  Middletown,  in  the  State  of 
Connecticut,  on  the  27th  of  October,  in  the  year  1777, 
during  the  war  between  England  and  America, 
which  terminated  in  1783,  with  the  acknowledgment 
by  the  mother  country  of  the  freedom,  sovereignty, 
and  independence  of  the  thirteen  United  States.  My 
father,  Asher  Riley,  who  still  lives  in  the  same  place, 
was  bred  to  the  farming  business,  and  at  an  early  age 
married  my  mother,  Rebecca  Sage,  who  is  also 
yet  living.  I  was  their  fourth  child.  Owing  to  an  at- 
tack of  that  dangerous  disorder,  the  liver  complaint, 
my  father  was  rendered  incapable  of  attending  to  his 
usual  employment  for  several  years,  during  which 
time,  his  property,  very  small  at  first,  was  entirely 
expended ;  but  after  his  recovery,  in  1786,  he  was 
enabled,  by  industry  and  strict  economy,  to  support 
his  increasing  family  in  a  decent  manner. 

It  may  not  be  improper  here,  before  I  speak 
of  my  education,  to  give  a  general  idea  of  what  was 
then  termed  a  common  education  in  Connecticut. 
This  state  is  divided  into  counties  and  towns,  and  the 
towns  into  societies;  in  each  of  which  societies,  the 
inhabitants,  by  common  consent,  and  at  their  common 
expense,  erect  a  school-house  in  which  to  educate 
their  children.  If  the  society  is  too  large  for  only 
one  school,  it  is  again  subdivided  into  districts,  and 


each  district  erects  a  school-house  for  its  own 
accommodation.  This  is  generally  done  by  a  tax 
levied  by  themselves,  and  apportioned  according 
to  the  property  or  capacity  of  each  individual.  It 
being  for  the  general  good,  all  cheerfully  pay  their 
apportionment.  Thus  prepared,  they  hire  a  teacher 
to  instruct  their  children  in  reading  and  writing,  and 
some  of  them  are  taught  the  fundamental  rules  of 
arithmetic.  They,  for  the  most  part,  hire  a  male 
teacher  for  four  months  in  the  year,  say  from  October 
to  March,  and  his  'compensation  (at  the  time  I  am 
speaking  of)  was  from  six  to  ten  dollars  a  month, 
with  his  board.  In  order  to  obtain  his  board,  he  was 
under  the  necessity  of  going  to  each  of  his  employers' 
houses  in  rotation,  making  his  time  in  each  family  as 
equal  as  possible  and  in  proportion  to  the  number  of 
children  therein.  In  this  way  all  the  parents  became 
acquainted  with  the  master  or  mistress.  In  the 
summer  one  of  the  best  informed  girls  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood was  selected  to  teach  the  youngest  child- 
ren. To  defray  the  expense  arising  from  this  sys- 
tem, a  tax  was  laid,  and  every  man,  whether  married 
or  ummarried,  with  children  or  without  them,  was 
obliged  to  pay  the  sum  at  which  he  was  rated,  and 
in  this  manner  every  one  contributed  for  the  good  of 
the  whole.  In  each  society  one  or  more  meeting- 
houses were  established,  whose  congregations  were 
either  Presbyterians  or  Congregationalists,  and  a 
minister  (as  he  is  called)  regularly  ordained  and 
located  for  a  yearly  stipend  or  salary,  and  generally 
during  life.  This  was  an  old  and  steady  habit.  The 
minister  was  considered  as   the  head  of  the  school, 


as  well  as  of  the  meeting,  and  his  like  or  dislike  was 
equivalent  to  a  law.  AH  the  children  in  each  dis- 
trict, whether  rich  or  poor,  went  to  this  school  :  all 
had  an  equal  right  to  this  kind  of  country  education. 
To  one  of  these  district  schools  I  was  sent  at  the'age 
of  four  years,  where  I  continued,  learning  to  spell 
and  read,  until  I  was  eight  years  old,  when  my  fa- 
ther's family  had  increased  to  seven  or  eight  child- 
ren, with  a  fair  prospect  of  more,  (it  afterwards 
amounted  to  thirteen  in  number.) 

Finding  it  difficult  to  support  us  all  as  he  wished, 
and  I  having  become  a  stout  boy  of  my  age,  he 
placed  me  with  a  neighbouring  farmer  to  earn  my 
living,  by  assisting  him  in  his  work.  From  the  age 
of  eight  to  fourteen  years  I  worked  on  the  land 
with  diiTerent  farmers  in  our  neighbourhood,  who 
having  received  but  a  very  scanty  education  them- 
selves, conceited,  nevertheless,  that  they  were  over- 
stocked with  learning,  as  is  generally  the  case  with 
the  most  ignorant,  and  in  this,,  their  fancied  wis- 
dom, concluded  that  much  less  than  they  them- 
selves possessed  would  answer  my  purpose,  as  I 
was  but  a  poor  boy ! !  Finding  therefore  that 
they  would  lose  my  labour  during  school  hours» 
(for  they  had  always  taken  great  care  to  keep  me 
fully  employed  in  hard  drudgery  every  moment  I 
was  out  of  school,  scarcely  allowing  me  the  usual 
hours  of  refreshment  and  sleep,)  they  kept  me  from 
school,  merely  because,  as  they  stated,  they  could 
not  get  along  with  their  work  without  my  help. 
When  my  parents  remonstrated  against  such  conduct 
in  those  who  had  come  under  a  most  solemn  agree- 
ment to  give  me  a  plenty  of  schoolings  they  were  assu* 



red  "  that  I  was  a  very  forward  boy;  that  I  could  spell 
and  read  as  well  as  any  of  the  boys  of  my  age;  that 
I  could  repeat  whole  chapters  in  the  Bible  by  heart, 
and  knew  all  the  Catechism  and  Creed,  viz.  the 
Presbyterian,  which  then  was,  and  still  is  considered, 
all  important  in  that  section  of  the  union  called 
New-England :  that  I  could  sing  psalms  in  the 
separate  meetings  full  as  well  as  those  who  had 
learned  to  sing  by  note,  '  though  indeed  he  cannot 
write,  (said  they)  because  he  has  no  turn  for  writing.'" 
These  representations  tended  in  some  measure  to 
allay  the  anxiety  of  my  parents,  who  wished  me  above 
all  things  to  have  a  good  common  country  education, 
as  they  at  that  time  had  no  prospect  of  being  able  to 
give  me  any  thing  better.  They  had  taught  me, 
both  by  precept  and  practice,  that  to  be  honest, 
industrious,  and  prudent ;  to  goverty  my  passions, 
(which  were  violent,)  to  feel  for  and  relieve  the 
distresses  of  others  when  in  my  power ;  to  be  mild 
and  affable  in  my  manners,  and  virtuous  in  all  my 
actions,  was  to  be  happy ^  and  they,  generally,  had 
instilled  into  my  youthful  mind  every  good  principle. 
I  had  now  attained  my  fifteenth  year;  was  tall,  stout, 
and  athletic  for  my  age;  and  having  become  tired 
of  hard  work  on  the  land,  I  concluded  that  the  best 
ivay  to  get  rid  of  it,  was  to  go  to  sea  and  visit  foreign 
countries.  My  parents  endeavoured  to  dissuade  me 
from  this  project,  and  wished  me  to  learn  some 
mechanical  trade;  but  finding  that  I  could  not  fix  my 
mind  upon  any  other  business,  they,  with  great 
reluctance,  consented  to  my  choice ;  and  I,  accord- 
ingly, shipped  on  board  a  sloop  bound  to  the  West 


Indies.  Having  no  friend  to  push  me  forward,  no 
dependence  but  on  my  own  good  conduct  and  exer- 
tions, and  being  ambitious  to  gain  some  distinction 
in  the  profession  I  had  chosen,  I  contrived  to  acquire 
some  knowledge  in  the  art  of  navigation,  theoreti- 
cally as  well  as  practically,  and  at  the  age  of  twenty 
years  had  passed  through  the  grades  of  cabin  boy, 
cook,  ordinary  seaman,  seaman,  second  mate,  and 
chief  mate,  on  board  different  vessels.  I  was  now 
six  feet  and  one  inch  in  height,  and  proportionably 
strong  and  athletic,  when  finding  the  sphere  I  then 
moved  in  to  be  too  limited  for  my  views  and  wishes, 
(it  extending  only  from  Connecticut  River  or  New- 
London  to  the  West  Indies,  and  back  again,)  I  went 
to  New-York,  where  I  was  soon  appointed  to  the 
command  of  a  good  vessel,  and  since  that  time  have 
continued  in  similar  employment;  making  voyages 
in  all  climates  usually  visited  by  American  ships; 
traversing  almost  every  sea,  and  travelling  by  land 
through  many  of  the  principal  states  and  empires  of 
the  world.  For  several  years  I  had  charge  of  the 
cargoes  as  well  as  of  the  vessels  I  sailed  in,  and 
had  a  fair  share  of  prosperity,  until  the  month  of 
January  1808,  when  my  ship,  the  Two  Marys  of 
New- York,  was  seized  by  the  French,  as  I  took 
shelter  in  Belle  Isle,  in  the  Bay  of  Biscay,  from  some 
English  men  of  war,  being  bound  for  Nantz;  and  the 
ship,  with  her  valuable  cargo,  was  confiscated,  under 
the  memorable  Milan  Decree  of  the  17th  December, 
1807,  founded  on  the  well  known  Orders  in  Council, 
of  the  1 1th  November,  of  the  same  year.  I  remained 
in  France  until  the  ship  and  cargo  were  condemned, 

an]  did  not  return  to  my  native  country  and  family, 
till  the  latter  part  of  the  year  1809,  with  the  loss,  it 
is  true,  of  nearly  all  the  property  I  had  before  ac- 
quired, but  wiser  than  I  went  out ;  for  I  had  learned 
to  read,  write,  and  speak  both  the  French  and 
Spanish  languages;  had  travelled  pretty  much  all 
over  France,  where  I  had  opportunities  of  witnessing 
many  important  operations  in  the  science  of  war, 
calculated  to  attract  my  attention  to  the  principles 
upon  which  they  were  founded,  and  I,  at  the  same 
time,  took  lessons  in  the  school  of  adversity,  which 
tended  to  prepare  and  discipline  my  mind  for  the 
future  hardships  I  was  destined  to  undergo.  I  now 
strov^e  with  ail  my  power  to  stem  the  tide  of  misfor- 
tune, which  began  to  set  in  against  me  with  impetuous 
force.  I  had  become  a  husband  and  the  father  of 
four  children,  who  looked  up  to  me  for  support, 
and  I  strained  every  nerve  to  retrieve  my  lost  fortune, 
hy  trading  to  sea;  but  it  was  of  no  avail;  every 
thing  proved  adverse,  and  after  an  absence  of  two 
years  to  Spain,  Portugal,  the  Brazils,  Rio  de  la  Plata, 
or  River  of  Silver,  in  South  America,  the  West  Indies, 
New-Orleans,  &c.  I  returned  home  at  the  commence- 
ment of  the  late  war  (1812)  penny  less.  Unarmed 
commerce  on  the  ocean,  my  element,  was  at  an  end 
in  an  honourable  way,  and  I  could  not  obtain  a 
station  I  wished  for  in  the  navy,  nor  could  I  obtain 
the  command  of  a  private  armed  vessel  that  suited 
my  views,  owing  to  the  want  of  funds  ;  nor  would 
I  accept  of  the  command  of  a  vessel  and  the  con- 
signment of  a  cargo  navigated  contrary  to  the  laws 
of  war   under  foreign  licences:   this    I    considered 


would  derogate  from  the  character  I  always  wished 
to  support,  that  of  a  true  friend  to  my  country, 
(whether  in  prosperity  or  adversity,)  and  a  firm 
supporter  of  its  laws  and  institutions,  which  I  had 
proved  by  long  experience  in  the  ways  of  the  world 
to  be  as  good  (at  least)  as  those  of  any  country  under 
heaven.  Though  the  offers  that  were  made  me  were 
great  and  tempting,  so  that  my  acceptance  of  them 
could  scarcely  have  failed  of  producing  me  a  hand- 
some fortune,  and  that  in  a  very  short  period,,  yet 
I  remained  at  home  during  the  whole  war,  making 
use  of  all  my  faculties  to  gain  a  decent  subsistence 
for  my  family.  Soon  after  the  burning  of  the 
Capitol  and  other  public  and  private  buildings 
at  the  seat  of  government,  by  the  enemy,  in  August 
1814,  when  their  commanders  loudly  threatened  to 
destroy  every  assailable  place  on  the  seaboard,  I 
believed  the  time  was  near  when  every  arm  would 
be  required  for  the  general  defence,  particularly 
at  the  exposed  seaport  towns ;  and  having  enrolled 
myself  in  a  volunteer  company  of  military  exempt 
artillerists,  composed  chiefly  of  masters  and  mates 
of  vessels  ^nd  seamen,  I  had  the  honour  of  being 
chosen  their  captain.  But  our  services  were  not 
needed  in  the  field. 


Voyage   in   the    Commerce  from  Connecticut  River  to 


After  the  close  of  the  war,  in  April    1815,  being 

then  in  my  native  state,  I  was  employed  as   master 

and  supercargo  of  the  brig  Commerce  of  Hartford, 


in  Connecticut;  a  vessel  nearly  new,  and  well 
fitted,  of  about  two  hundred  and  twenty  tons  burden, 
belonging  to  Messrs.  Riley  &  Brown,  Josiah  Savage 
&L  Co.  and  Luther  Savage,  of  that  city.  A  light 
cargo  was  taken  on  board,  and  I  shipped  a  crew, 
consisting  of  the  following  persons,  namely;  George 
Williams,  chief  mate,  Aaron  R.  Savage,  second  mate, 
William  Porter,  Archibald  Robbins,  Thomas  Burns, 
and  James  Clark,  seamen,  Horace  Savage,  cabin  boy, 
and  Richard  Deslisle,  (a  black  man)  cook.  This  man 
had  been  a  servant  during  the  late  war  to  Captain 
Daniel  Ketchum,  of  the  25th  regiment  of  United  Sates' 
infantry,  who  distinguished  himself  by  taking  prison- 
er the  English  Major-General  Rial,  at  the  dreadful 
battle  of  Burlington  heights,  in  upper  Canada,  and 
by  several  other  heroic  achievements. 

With  this  crew  I  proceeded  to  sea  from  the  mouth 
of  Connecticut  River,  on  the  sixth  day  of  May,  1815, 
bound  for  New-Orleans.  We  continued  to  steer  for 
the  Bahama  Islands,  as  winds  and  weather  permitted, 
until  the  twentieth  of  the  same  month,  when  we 
saw  the  southernmost  part  of  the  island  of  Abaco, 
and  passing  the  Hole  in  the  Wall,  on  the  twenty-first, 
entered  on  the  Grand  Bahama  Bank  to  the  leeWard 
of  the  northernmost  Berri  Islands;  from  thence,  with 
a  fair  wind  and  good  breeze,  we  steered  W.  S.  W. 
twelve  leagues;  then  S.  S.  W.  about  forty  leagues, 
crossing  the  Bank,  in  from  three-  to  four  fathoms  wa- 
ter. On  the  morning  of  the  twenty-second  we  saw 
the  Orange  Key  on  our  starboard  beam;  altered 
"our  course,  and  ran  off  the  Bank,  leaving  them  on 
our  starboard  hand,  distant  one  league.     The  water 


on  this  Great  Bank,  in  most  places,  appears  as  white 
as  milk,  owing  to  the  white  sand  at  the  bottom 
gleaming  through  it,  and  is  so  clear  that  an  object, 
the  size  of  a  dollar,  can  be  easily  seen  lying  on  the 
bottom  in  four  fathoms  water,  in  a  still  time.  Hav- 
ing got  off  the  Bank,  we  steered  W.  S.  W.  for  the 
Double-headed  Shot  Bank,  and  at  meridian  found 
ourselves,  by  good  observations,  in  the  latitude  of  24. 
30.  being  nearly  that  of  the  Orange  Keys.  In 
the  afternoon  it  became  nearly  calm,  but  a  good 
breeze  springing  up,  we  continued  our  course  all 
niglit  W.  S.  W.  I  remained  on  deck  myself,  on  a 
sharp  look  out  for  the  Double-headed  Shot  Bank, 
or  Keys,  until  four  o'clock  A.  M.  when  judging  by  our 
distance  we  must  be  far  past  them,  and  consequently 
clear  of  that  danger,  I  ordered  the  chief  mate,  who 
had  charge  of  the  watch,  to  keep  a  good  look  out,  on 
all  sides,  for  land,  white  water  and  breakers ;  and 
after  repeating  the  same  to  the  people,  I  went 
below  to  take  a  nap.  At  about  five  (then  fair 
daylight)  I  was  awakened  by  a  shock,  and  thought 
I  felt  the  vessel  touch  bottom.  I  sprang  on  deck,  put 
the  helm  to  starboard,  had  all  hands  called  in  an  in- 
stant, and  saw  breakers  ahead  and  to  southward, 
close  on  board ;  apparently  a  sound  on  our  right, 
and  land  to  the  northward,  at  about  two  leagues  dis- 
tance. The  vessel's  head  was  towards  the  S.  W.  and 
she  running  at  the  rate  of  ten  miles  the  hour.  I  in- 
stantly seized  the  helm,  put  it  hard  to  port,  ordered 
all  sails  to  be  let  run,  and  the  anchors  cleared  away. 
The  vessel  touched  lightly,  three  or  four  times;  when 
I  found  she  was  over  the  reef,  let  go  an  anchor, 



which  brought  her  up  in  two  and  a  half  fathoms,  or 
fifteen  feet  of  water,  which  was  quite  smooth.  We 
now  handed  all  the  sails,  and  lowered  down  the  boat. 
I  went  in  her  with  four  hands,  and  sounded  out  a 
passage ;  found  plenty  of  water  to  leeward  of  the 
reef;  returned  and  got  under  way,  and  at  seven 
o'clock  A.  M.  was  in  the  open  sea  again,  with  a 
fresh  breeze. 

This  being  the  first  time,  in  the  course  of  my 
navigating,  that  any  vessel  which  I  was  in  had  struck 
the  bottom  unexpectedly,  I  own  I  was  so  much  sur- 
prised and  shocked,  that  my  whole  frame  trembled,^ 
and  I  could  scarcely  believe  that  what  had  happened 
was  really  true,  until  by  comparing  the  causes  and 
effects  of  the  currents  in  the  Gulph  Stream,  I  was 
convinced  that  during  the  light  winds,  the  day  before, 
when  in  the  Santarem  Channel,  the  vessel  had  been 
drifted  by  the  current  that  runs  N.  N,  W.  (and  at 
that  time  very  strong)  so  far  north  of  the  Double- 
headed  Shot  Bank ;  that  my  course  in  the  night, 
though  the  only  proper  one  I  could  have  steered, 
was  such  as  kept  the  current  on  the  larboard  bow  of 
the  vessel,  which  had  horsed  her  across  it  sixty  miles 
out  of  her  course  in  sixteen  hours,  and  would  have 
landed  her  on  the  S.  W.  part  of  the  Carysford  Reef 
in  two  minutes  more,  where  she  must  have  been 
totally  lost.  As  so  many  vessels  of  all  nations  who 
navigate  this  stream  have  perished  with  their  cargoes, 
and  oftentimes  their  crews,  I  mention  this  incident 
to  warn  the  navigator  of  the  danger  he  is  in  when 
his  vessel  is  acted  upon  by  these  currents,  where  no 
calculation  can  be  (Jepended  upon,  and  where  no- 


thing  but  very  frequent  castings  of  the  lead,  and 
a  good  look  out,  can  secure  him  from  their  too  often 
fatal  consequences. 

Having  settled  this  point  in  my  own  mind,  I  be- 
came tranquil,  and  we  continued  to  run  along  the 
Florida  Keys  from  W.  S.  W.  to  West  by  South,  in 
from  thirty  to  forty  fathoms  water,  about  four 
leagues  distant,  seeing  from  one  to  two  leagues  with- 
in us  many  rocks  and  little  sandy  islands,  just  above 
the  waters'  edge,  with  a  good  depth  of  water  all 
around  them,  until  noon  on  the  24th,  when  we  doub- 
led the  dry  Tortugas  Islands  in  ten  fathoms,  and  on 
the  26th  arrived  in  the  Mississippi  River,  passed 
Fort  St.  Philip  at  Pluquemines  the  same  night,  hav- 
ing shown  my  papers  to  the  commanding  officer  of 
that  post  (as  is  customary.) 

My  previous  knowledge  of  the  river  and  the 
manner  of  getting  up  it,  enabled  me  to  pass  nearly 
one  hundred  sail  of  vessels  that  were  in  before  me, 
and  by  dint  of  great  and  continued  exertions,  to 
arrive  with  my  vessel  before  the  city  of  New-Orleans, 
on  the  first  day  of  June.  Here  we  discharged  our 
cargo,  and  took  another  on  board,  principally  on 
freight,  in  which  I  was  assisted  by  Messrs.  Talcott  & 
Bowers,  respectable  merchants  in  that  city.  This  car- 
go consisted  of  tobacco  and  flour.  The  two  ordinary 
seamen,  Francis  Bliss  and  James  Carrington,  now 
wished  for  a  discharge,  and  received  it.  I  then 
shipped  in  their  stead  John  Hogan  and  James  Barrett, 
both  seamen  and  natives  of  the  state  of  Massachusetts. 

With  this  crew  and  cargo  we  sailed  from  New- 
Orleans  on  the  twenty-fourth  of  June  ;  left  the  river 

X2  Captain  riley's  narrative. 

6n  the  twenty-sixth,  and  proceeded  for  Gibraltar, 
where  we  arrived  on  the  ninth  of  August  following, 
and  landed  our   cargo.     About    the  thirteenth  the 

schooner — ,  Capt.  Price,  of  andfromNew-Yorkj 

in  a  short  passage,  came  into  the  Bay,  and  the  cap- 
tain on  his  landing  told  me  he  was  bound  up  to 
Barcelona,  and  that  if  I  would  go  on  board  his  vessel, 
which  was  then  standing  off  and  on  in  the  Bay,  he 
would  give  me  a  late  New-York  Price  Current,  and 
some  newspapers.  I  was  in  great  want  of  a  Price 
Current  for  my  guide  in  making  purchases,  and  ac- 
cordingly went  on  board.  The  wind  blowing  strong 
in,  and  the  vessel  far  out,  I  had  to  take  four  men 
with  me,  namely,  James  Clark,  James  Barrett, 
William  Porter,  and  John  Hogan.  Having  received 
the  Price  Current  &c.  I  left  the  schooner  about  sun- 
set, when  they  immediately  filled  her  sails  and  stood 
on.  As  we  were  busied  in  stepping  the  boat's  mast 
to  sail  back,  a  toppling  sea  struck  her,  and  nearly 
filled  her  with  water  ;  we  all  jumped  instantly  over- 
board, in  the  hope  of  preventing  her  from  filling,  but 
she  filled  immediately.  Providentially  the  captain  of 
the  schooner  heard  me  halloo,  though  at  least  a  mile 
from  us;  put  his  vessel  about,  came  near  us,  sent  his 
boat,  and  saved  our  lives  and  our  boat,  which  being 
cleared  of  water,  and  it  being  after  dark,  we  returned 
safe  alongside  of  the  brig  by  ten  o'clock  at  night. 
When  the  boat  filled,  we  were  more  than  three 
miles  from  the  Rock,  in  the  Gut,  where  the  current 
would  have  set  us  into  the  Mediterranean,  and  we 
must  have  inevitably  perished  before  morning,  but 


we  were  spared,  in  order  to  suffer  a  severer  doom, 
and  miseries  worse  than  death,  on  the  barbarous 
shores  of  Africa. 

We  now  took  on  board  part  of  a  cargo  of  brandies 
and  wines,  and  some  dollars,  say  about  two  thousand, 
and  an  old  man,  named  Antonio  Michel,  a  native 
of  New-Orleans,  who  had  previously  been  wrecked 
on  the  island  of  Teneriffe,  and  was  recommended  to 
my  charity  by  Mr.  Gavino,  who  at  that  time  exerci- 
sed the  functions   of  American  Consul  at  Gibraltar. 


Voyage  from  Gibraltar  towards  the  Cape  de  Verd 
Islands,  including  the  shipwreck  of  the  brig  Com- 
merce on  the  coast  of  Jifrica. 

We  set  sail  from  the  bay  of  Gibraltar,  on  the 
23d  of  August,  1815,  intending  to  go  by  way  of 
the  Cape  de  Verd  Islands,  to  complete  the  lading  of 
the  vessel  with  salt.  We  passed  Gape  Spartel  on 
the  morning  of  the  24th,  giving  it  a  birth  of  from, 
ten  to  twelve  leagues,  and  steered  off  to  the  W.  S.  W. 
I  intended  to  make  the  Canary  Islands,  and  pass  be- 
tween Teneriffe  and  Palma,  having  a  fair  wind  ;  but 
it  being  very  thick  and  foggy  weather,  though  we 
got  two  observations  at  noon,  neither  could  be  much 
depended  upon.  On  account  of  the  fog.  We  saw  no 
land,  and  found,  by  good  meridian  altitudes  on  the 
twenty-eighth,  that  we  were  in  the  latitude  of  27. 
30.  N.  having  differed  our  latitude  by  the  force  of 


current,  one  hundred  and  twenty  miles ;  thus  pass- 
ing the  Canaries  without  seeing  any  of  them.  I 
concluded  we  must  have  passed  through  the  intend- 
ed passage  without  discovering  the  land  on  either 
side,  particularly,  as  it  was  in  the  night,  which  was 
very  dark,  and  black  as  pitch;  nor  could  I  believe 
otherwise  from  having  had  a  fair  wind  all  the  way, 
and  having  steered  one  course  ever  since  we  took 
our  departure  from  Cape  Spartel.  Soon  after  we 
got  an  observation  on  the  28th,  it  became  as  thick 
as  ever,  and  the  darkness  seemed  (if  possible)  to 
increase.  Towards  evening  I  got  up  my  reckoning, 
and  examined  it  all  over,  to  be  sure  that  I  had  com- 
mitted no  error,  and  caused  the  mates  to  do  the 
same  with  theirs.  Having  thus  ascertained  that  I 
was  correct  in  calculation,  I  altered  our  course  to 
S.  W.  which  ought  to  have  carried  us  nearly  on  the 
course  I  wished  to  steer,  that  is,  for  the  easternmost 
of  the  Cape  de  Verds;  but  finding  the  weather  be- 
coming more  foggy  towards  night,  it  being  so  thick 
that  we  could  scarcely  see  the  end  of  the  jib-boomi, 
I  rounded  the  vessel  to,  and  sounded  with  one  hun- 
dred and  twenty  fathoms  of  line,  but  found  no  bot- 
tom, and  continued  on  our  course,  still  reflecting  on 
what  should  be  the  cause  of  our  not  seeing  land, 
^as  I  never  had  passed  near  the  Canaries  before 
without  seeing  them,  even  in  thick  weather  or  in  the 
night.)  I  came  to  a  determination  to  haul  off  to  the 
N.  W.  by  the  wind  at  10  P.  M.  as  I  should  then  be 
by  the  log  only  thirty  miles  north  of  Cape  Bagador. 
I  concluded  on  this  at  nine,  and  thought  my  fears 
had  never  before  so  much  prevailed  over  my  judg- 

VOYAGE    IN    THE    COMiMEReE.  15 

ment  and  my  reckoning.  I  ordered  the  light  sails  to 
be  handed,  and  the  steering  sail  booms  to  be  rigged 
in  snug,  which  was  done  as  fast  as  it  could  be  by 
one  watch,  under  the  immediate  direction  of  Mr, 

We  had  just  got  the  men  stationed  at  the  braces 
for  hauling  oif,  as  the  man  at  helm  cried  "ten 
o'clock."  Our  try-sail  boom  was  on  the  starboard 
side,  but  ready  for  jibing ;  the  helm  was  put  to  port, 
dreaming  of  no  danger  near.  I  had  been  on  deck 
all  the  evening  myself:  the  vessel  was  running  at 
the  rate  of  nine  or  ten  knots,  with  a  very  strong 
breeze,  and  high  sea,  when  the  main  boom  was  jibed 
over,  and  I  at  that  instant  heard  a  roaring;  the  yards 
were  braced  up — all  hands  were  called.  I  imagined 
at  first  it  was  a  squall,  and  was  near  ordering  the 
sails  to  be  lowered  down ;  but  I  then  discovered 
breakers  foamino;  at  a  most  dreadful  rate  under  our 
lee.  Hope  for  a  moment  flattered  me  that  we  could 
fetch  oif  still,  as  there  were  no  breakers  in  view 
ahead :  the  anchors  were  made  ready ;  but  these 
hopes  vanished  in  an  instant,  as  the  vessel  was  car- 
ried by  a  current  and  a  sea  directly  towards  the 
breakers,  and  she  struck !  We  let  go  the  best  bower 
anchor;  all  sails  were  taken  in  as  fast  as  possible; 
surge  after  surge  came  thundering  on,  and  drove 
her  in  spite  of  anchors,  partly  with  her  head  on 
shore.  She  struck  with  such  violence  as  to  start 
every  man  from  the  deck.  Knowing  there  was  no 
possibility  of  saving  her,  and  that  she  must  very 
soon  bilge  and  fill  with  water,  I  ordered  all  the  pro- 
visions we  could  get  at  to  be  brought  on  deck,  in 


hopes  of  saving  some,  and  as  much  water  to  be 
drawn  from  the  large  casks  as  possible.  We  start- 
ed several  quarter  casks  of  wine,  and  filled  them 
with  water.  Every  man  worked  as  if  his  life  de- 
pended upon  his  present  exertions; — all  were  obe- 
dient to  every  order  I  gave,  and  seemed  perfectly 
calm; — The  vessel  was  stout  and  high,  as  she  was 
only  in  ballast  trim; — The  sea  combed  over  her 
stern  and  swept  her  decks ;  but  we  managed  to  get 
the  small  boat  in  on  deck,  to  sling  her  and  keep  her 
from  staving.  We  cut  away  the  bulwark  on  the 
larboard  side  so  as  to  prevent  the  boats  from  staving 
when  we  should  get  them  out;  cleared  away  the 
long-boat  and  hung  her  in  tackles,  the  vessel  conti- 
nuing to  strike  very  heavy,  and  filling  fast.  We, 
however,  had  secured  five  or  six  barrels  of  water,^ 
and  as  many  of  wine, — three  barrels  of  bread,  and 
three  or  four  of  salted  provisions.  I  had  as  yet  been 
so  busily  employed,  that  no  pains  had  been  taken 
to  ascertain  what  distance  we  were  from  the  land, 
nor  had  any  of  us  yet  seen  it;  and  in  the  meantime 
all  the  clothing,  chests,  trunks,  &c.  were  got  up,  and 
the  books,  charts,  and  sea  instruments,  were  stowed 
in  them,  in  the  hope  of  their  being  useful  to  us  in 

The  vessel  being  now  nearly  full  of  water,  the  surf 
making  a  fair  breach  over  her,  and  fearing  she  would 
go  to  pieces,  I  prepared  a  rope,  and  put  it  in  the  small 
boat,  having  got  a  glimpse  of  the  shore,  at  no  great 
distance,  and  taking  Porter  Avith  me,  we  were  low- 
ered down  on  the  larboard  or  lee  side  of  the  vessel, 
where  she  broke  the  violence  of  the  sea,  and  made  it 


comparatively  smooth ;  we  shoved  off,  but  on  clear- 
ing away  from  the  bow  of  the  vessel,  the  boat  was 
overwhelmed  with  a  surf,  and  we  were  plunged  into 
the  foaming  surges :  we  were  driven  along  by  the 
current,  aided  by  what  seamen  call  the  undertow,  (or 
recoil  of  the  sea)  to  the  distance  of  three  hundred 
yards  to  the  westward,  covered  nearly  all  the  time 
by  the  billows,  which,  following  each  other  in  quick 
succession,  scarcely  gave  us  time  to  catch  a  breath  be- 
fore we  were  again  literally  swallowed  by  them,  till  at 
length  we  were  thrown,  together  with  our  boat,  up- 
on a  sandy  beach.  After  taking  breath  a  little,  and 
ridding  our  stomachs  of  the  salt  water  that  had  forced 
its  way  into  them,  my  first  care  was  to  turn  the 
water  out  of  the  boat,  and  haul  her  up  out  of  the 
reach  of  the  surf.  We  found  the  rope  that  was 
made  fast  to  her  still  remaining;  this  we  carried  up 
along  the  beach,  directly  to  leeward  of  the  wreck, 
where  we  fastened  it  to  sticks  about  the  thickness  of 
handspikes,  that  had  drifted  on  the  shi^re  from  the 
vessel,  and  which  we  drove  into  the  sand  by  the 
help  of  other  pieces  of  wood.  Before  leaving  the 
vessel,  I  haA^  directed  that  all  the  chests,  trunks, 
and  every  thing  that  would  float,  should  be  hove 
overboard  :  this  all  hands  were  busied  in  doing.  Th^ 
vessel  layabout  one  hundred  fathoms  from  the  beach, 
at  high  tide.  In  order  to  save  the  crew,  a  hawser  was 
made. fast  to  the  rope  we  had  on  shore,  one  end  of 
which  we  hauled  to  us,  and  made  it  fast  to  a  num- 
ber of  sticks  we  had  driven  into  the  sand  for  the 
purpose.  It  was  then  tautened  on  board  the 
wreck,  and   made  fast.     This  being  done,  the  long- 


boat  (in  order  to  save  the  provisions  already  in  her) 
was  lowered  down,  and  two  hands  steadied  her  by 
ropes  fastened  to  the  rings  in  her  stem  and  stern  posts 
over  the  hawser,  so  as  to  slide,  keeping  her  bow  to  the 
surf.  In  this  manner  they  reached  the  beach,  carried 
on  the  top  of  a  heavy  wave.  The  boat  was  stove 
by  the  violence  of  the  shock  against  the  beach;  but 
by  great  exertions  we  saved  the  three  barrels  of 
bread  in  her  before  they  were  much  damaged ;  and 
two  barrels  of  salted  provision  were  also  saved.  We 
were  now,  four  of  us,  on  shore,  and  busied  in  picking 
up  the  clothing  and  other  things  which  drifted  from 
the  vessel,  and  carrying  them  up  out  of  the  surf.  It 
was  by  this  time  daylight,  and  high  water;  the  vessel 
careened  deep  off  shore,  and  I  made  signs  to  have  the 
masts  cut  away,  in  the  hope  of  easing  her,  that  she 
might  not  go  to  pieces.  They  were  accordingly  cut 
away,  and  fell  on  her  starboard  side,  making  a  better 
lee  for  a  boat  alongside  the  wreck,  as  they  projected 
considerably  beyond  her  bows.  The  masts  and  rigging 
being  gone,  the  sea  breaking  very  high  over  the 
wreck,  and  nothing  left  to  hold  on  by,  the  mates  and 
six  men  still  on  board,  though  secuicd,  as  well  as 
they  could  be,  on  the  bowsprit  and  in  the  larboard 
fore-channels,  were  yet  in  imminent  danger  of  being 
w^ashed  off  by  every  surge.  The  long-boat  was  stove, 
and  it  being  impossible  for  the  small  one  to  live,  my 
great  object  was  now  to  save  the  lives  of  the  crew 
by  means  of  the  hawser.  I  therefore  made  signs 
to  them  to  come,  one  by  one,  on  the  hawser,  which 
bad  been  stretched  taut  for  that  purpose.  John 
Hogan  ventured  first,  and  having  pulled  off  his  jack- 


ei,  took  to  the  hawser,  and  made  for  the  shore. 
When  he  {lad  got  clear  of  the  Immediate  lee  of  the 
wreck,  every  surf  buried  him,  combing  many  feet 
above  his  head;  but  he  still  held  fast  by  the  rope  with 
a  deathlike  grasp,  and  as  soon  as  the  surf  was  passed, 
proceeded  on  towards  the  shore,  until  another  surf, 
more  powerful  than  the  former,  unclenched  his  hands, 
and  threw  him  within  our  reach ;  when  we  laid  hold 
of  him,  and  dragged  him  to  the  beach;  we  then  rolled 
him  on  the  sand,  until  he  discharged  the  salt  water 
from  his  stomach,  and  revived.  I  kept  in  the  water 
up  to  my  chin,  steadying  myself  by  the  hawser,  while 
the  surf  passed  over  me,  to  catch  the  others  as  they 
approached,  and  thus,  with  the  assistance  of  those  al- 
ready on  shore,  was  enabled  to  save  all  the  rest  from 
a  watery  grave. 


Description  of  the  natives. — They  make  war  upon  the 
crew,  and  drive  them  off  to  the  wreck. 

All  hands  being  now  landed,  our  first  care  was  to 
aecure  the  provisions  and  water  which  we  had  so 
far  saved,  knowing  it  was  a  barren,  thirsty  land  ;  and 
we  carried  the  provisions  up  fifty  yards  from  the  wa- 
ters' edge,  where  we  placed  them,  and  then  formed  a 
kind  of  a  tent  by  means  of  our  oars  and  two  steering 
sails.  I  had  fondly  hoped  we  should  not  be  discover- 
ed by  any  human  beings  on  this  inhospitable  shore, 
but  that  we  should  be  able  to  repair  our  boats,  with 


the  materials  we  might  get  from  the  wreck,and  by 
taking  advantage  of  a  smooth  time,  (if  we  should  be 
favoured  with  one)  put  to  sea,  where  by  the  help  of 
a  compass  and  other  instruments  which  we  had  sav- 
ed, we  might  possibly  find  some  friendly  vessel  to 
save  our  lives,  or  reach  some  of  the  European  settle- 
ments down  the  coast,  or  the  Cape  de  Verd  Islands. 

Being  thus  employed,  we  saw  a  human  figure  ap- 
proach our  stuff,  such  as  clothing,  which  lay  scatter- 
ed along  the  beach  for  a  mile  westward  of  us.  It 
was  a  man  !  He  began  plundering  our  clothing.  I 
went  towards  him  with  all  the  signs  of  peace  and 
friendship  I  could  make,  but  he  was  extremely  shy, 
and  made  signs  to  me  to  keep  my  distance,  while  he 
all  the  time  seemed  intent  on  plunder.  He  was  un- 
armed, and  I  continued  to  approach  him  until  within 
ten  yards. 

He  appeared  to  be  about  five  feet  seven  or  eight 
inches  high,  and  of  a  complexion  between  that  of 
an  American  Indian  and  negro.  He  had  about  him, 
to  cover  his  nakedness,  a  piece  of  coarse  woollen 
cloth,  that  reached  from  below  his  breast  nearly  to 
his  knees ;  his  hair  was  long  and  bushy,  resembling 
a  pitch  mop,  sticking  out  every  way  six  or  eight  inch- 
es from  his  head  ;  his  face  resembled  that  of  an  ou- 
rang-outang  more  than  a  human  being  ;  his  eyes 
were  red  and  fiery;  his  mouth,  which  stretched  near- 
Iv  from  ear  to  ear,  was  well  lined  with  sound  teeth ; 
and  a  long  curling  beard,  which  depended  from  his 
upper  lip  and  chin  down  upon  his  breast,  gave  him 
altogether  a  most  horrid  appearance,  and  I  could 
not  but  imagine  that  those  well  set  teeth  were  sharp*- 


ened  for  the  purpose  of  devouring  human  flesh ! ! 
particularly  as  I  conceived  I  had  before  seen  in  dif- 
ferent parts  of  the  world,  the  human  face  and  form 
in  its  most  hideous  and  terrific  shape.  He  appeared 
to  be  very  old,  yet  fierce  and  vigorous ;  he  was  soon 
joined  by  two  old  women  of  similar  appearance, 
whom  I  took  to  be  his  wives.  These  looked  a  little 
less  frightful,  though  their  two  eye-teeth  stuck  out 
like  hogs'  tusks,  and  their  tanned  skins  hung  in  loose 
plaits  on  their  faces  and  breasts;  but  their  hair  was 
long  and  braided.  A  girl  of  from  eighteen  to  twen- 
ty, who  was  not  ugly,  and  five  or  six  children,  of  dif- 
ferent ages  and  sexes,  from  six  to  sixteen  years,  were 
also  in  company.  These  were  entirely  naked.  They 
brought  with  them  a  good  English  hammer,  w^ith  a 
rope-laniard  through  a  hole  in  its  handle.  It  had  no 
doubt  belonged  to  some  vessel  wrecked  on  that  coast. 
They  had  also  a  kind  of  axe  with  them,  and  some 
long  knives  slung  on  their  right  sides,  in  a  sheath 
suspended  by  their  necks.  They  now  felt  them- 
selves strong,  and  commenced  a  bold  and  indiscrimi- 
nate plundering  of  every  thing  they  wanted.  They 
broke  open  trunks,chests,and  boxes,and  emptied  them 
of  their  contents,  carrying  the  clothing  on  their  backs 
up  on  the  sand  hills,  where  they  spread  them  out  to 
dry.  They  emptied  the  beds  of  their  contents,  want- 
ing only  the  cloth,  and  were  much  amused  with  the 
flying  of  the  feathers  before  the  wind  from  my  bed. 
It  appeared  as  though  they  had  never  before  seen 
such  things. 

I   had   an  adventure  of  silk  laced  veils  and  silk 
handkerchiefs,  the  former  of  which  the  man,  women, 


and  children  tied  roiin.d  their  heads  in  the  form  of 
turbans ;  the  latter  round  their  legs  and  arms,  though 
only  for  a  short  time,  when  they  took  them  oif  again, 
and  stowed  them  away  among  the  other  clothing  on 
the  sand  hills.  They  all  seemed  highly  delighted  with 
their  good  fortune,  and  even  the  old  man's  features 
began  to  relax  a  little,  as  he  met  with  no  resistcince. 
We  had  no  fire  or  side  arms,  but  we  could  easily 
have  driven  these  creatures  off  with  handspikes,  had 
I  not  considered  that  we  had  no  possible  means  of 
escaping  either  by  land  or  water,  and  had  no  reason 
to  doubt  but  they  would  call  others  to  their  assist- 
ance, and  in  revenge  destroy  us.  I  used  all  the  ar- 
guments in  my  power  to  induce  my  men  to  endea- 
vour to  conciliate  the  friendship  of  these  natives,  but 
it  was  with  the  greatest  difficulty  I  could  restrain 
some  of  them  from  rushing  on  the  savages  and  put- 
ting them  to  death,  if  they  could  have  come  up  with 
them ;  but  I  found  they  could  run  like  the  wind, 
whilst  we  could  with  difficulty  move  in  the  deep  sand. 
Such  an  act  I  conceived  would  cost  us  our  lives  as 
soon  as  we  should  be  overpowered  by  numbers, 
and  I  therefore  permitted  them  to  take  what  pleased 
them  best,  without  making  any  resistance;  except  our 
bread  and  provisions,  which,  as  we  could  not  subsist 
Avithout  them,  I  was  determined  to  defend  to  the  last 
extremity.  On  our  first  reaching  the  shore  I  allowed 
my  mates  and  people  to  share  among  themselves 
one  thousand  Spanish  dollars,  for  I  had  hauled  my 
trunk  on  shore  by  a  rope,  with  my  money  in  it,  which 
I  was  induced  to  do  in  the  hope  of  its  being  useful  to 
them  in  procuring  a  release  from  this  country  incase* 


we  should  be  separated,  and  in  aiding  them  to  reach 
their  homes.  We  had  rolled  up  the  casks  of  water 
and  wine  which  had  been  thrown  overboard  and 
drifted  ashore.  I  was  now  determined  to  mend  the 
long-boat,  as  soon  and  as  well  as  possible,  in  order 
to  have  a  retreat  in  my  power,  (or  at  least  the  hope 
of  one)  in  case  of  the  last  necessity.  The  wind  lulled 
a  little  in  the  afternoon,  at  low  water,  when  William 
Porter  succeeded  in  reaching  the  wreck  and  procu- 
red a  few  nails  and  a  marline  spike ;  with  these  he 
got  safe  back  to  the  shore.  I  found  the  timbers  of  the 
boat  in  so  crazy  a  state,  and  the  nails  which  held 
them  together,  so  eaten  ofTby  the  rust,  that  she  would 
not  hold  together,  nor  support  her  weight  in  turn- 
ing her  up  in  order  to  get  at  her  bottom.  I  tacked 
her  timbers  together,  however,  as  well  as  I  could, 
which  was  very  imperfectly,  as  I  had  bad  tools  to 
work  with,  and  my  crew,  now  unrestrained  by  my 
authority,  having  broached  a  cask  of  wine,  and  ta- 
ken copious  drafts  of  it,  in  order  to  dispel  their  sor- 
rows, were  most  of  them  in  such  a  state,  that  instead 
of  assisting  me,  they  tended  to  increase  my  embarrass- 
ment. We,  however,  at  last,  got  the  boat  turned 
up,  and  found  that  one  whole  plank  was  out  on  each 
side,  and  very  much  split.  I  tacked  the  pieces  in, 
assisted  by  Mr.  Savage,  Horace,  and  one  or  two  more. 
We  chinced  a  little  oakum  into  the  seams  and  splits 
with  our  knives,  as  well  as  we  could,  and  worked 
upon  her  until  it  was  quite  dark.  I  had  kept  sentinels 
walking  with  handspikes,  to  guard  the  tent  and 
provisions  during  this  time,  but  the  Arabs  had  man- 
aged to  rob  us  of  one  of  our  sails  from  the  tent,  and 


to  carry  it  off,  and  not  content  with  this,  they  tried  to 
get  the  other  in  the  same  way.  This  I  would  not 
permit  them  to  do.  They  then  showed  their  hatchets 
and  their  arms,  but  finding  it  of  no  effect,  they  retired 
for  the  night,  after  promising,  as  near  as  I  could 
understand  them,  that  they  would  not  molest  us  fur- 
ther till  morning,  when  they  would  bring  camels 
down  with  them.  We  had  previously  seen  a  great 
many  camel  tracks  in  the  sand,  and  I  of  course  be« 
lieved  there  were  some  near.  One  of  the  children 
had  furnished  us  with  fire,  which  enabled  us  to  roast 
a  fowl  that  had  been  drowned,  and  driven  on  shore 
from  the  wreck,  on  which,  with  some  salt  pork,and  a 
little  bread  and  butter,  we  made  a  hearty  meal,  little 
thinking  that  this  was  to  be  the  last  of  our  provisions 
we  should  be  permitted  to  enjoy.  A  watch  was  set  of 
two  men,  who  were  to  walk  guard  at  a  distance  from 
the  tent?  to  give  an  alarm  in  case  of  the  approach  of 
the  natives,  and  keep  burning  a  guard  fire.  This 
we  were  enabled  to  do  by  cutting  up  some  spars  we 
found  on  the  beach,  and  which  must  have  belonged 
to  some  vessel  wrecked  there  before  us. 

Night  had  now  spread  her  sable  mantle  over  the 
face  of  nature,  the  savages  had  retired,  and  all  was 
s  till,  except  the  restless  and  unwearied  waves,  which 
dashed  against  the  deserted  wreck,  and  tumbled 
among  the  broken  rocks  a  little  to  the  eastward  of 
us,  where  the  high  perpendicular  cliffs,  jutting  out 
into  the  sea,  opposed  a  barrier  to  their  violence,  and 
threatened,  at  the  same  time,  inevitable  and  certain 
destruction  to  every  ill  fated  vessel  and  her  crew 
thcit  should,  unfortunately,  approach  too  near  their 

WRECK    OP    THE    COMMERCE.  5^ 

immoveable  foundations  :  these  we  had  escaped  only 
by  a  few  rods.  From  the  time  th6  vessel  struck  to 
this  moment,  I  had  been  so  entirely  engaged  by  the 
laborious  exertions  which  our  critical  situation  de- 
manded, that  I  had  no  time  for  reflection ;  but  it  now 
rushed  like  a  torrent  over  my  mind,  and  banished  from 
my  eyes  that  sleep  which  my  fatigued  frame  so  much 
required.  I  knew  I  was  on  a  barren  and  inhospita- 
ble coast;  a  tempestuous  ocean  lay  before  me,  whose 
bosom  was  continually  tossed  and  agitated  by  wild 
and  furious  winds,  blowing  directly  on  shore ;  no 
vessel  or  boat  sufficient  for  our  escape,  as  I  thought 
it  impossible  for  our  shattered  long-b6at  to  live  at 
sea,  even  if  we  should  succeed  in  urging  her  through 
the  tremendous  surges  that  broke  upon  the  shore, 
with  such  violence,  as  to  make  the  whole  coast  trem- 
ble; behind  us  were  savage  beings,  bearing  the 
human  form  indeed,  but  in  its  most  terrific  appear- 
ance, whose  object  I  knew,  from  what  had  already 
passed,  would  be  to  rob  us  of  our  last  resource,  our 
provisions ;  and  I  did  not  doubt,  but  they  would  be 
sufficiently  strong  in  the  morning,  not  only  to  accom- 
plish what  they  meditated,  but  to  take  our  lives  also, 
or  to  seize  upon  our  persons,  and  doom  us  to  slavery, 
till  death  should  rid  us  of  our  miseries. 

This  was  the  first  time  I  had  ever  suflfered  ship- 
wreck. I  had  left  a  wife  and  five  young  children 
behind  me,  on  whom  I  doated,  and  who  depended 
on  me  entirely  for  their  subsistence.  My  children 
would  have  no  father's,  and  perhaps  no  mother's 
care,  to  direct  them  in  the  paths  of  virtue,  to  instruct 
their  ripening  years,  or  to  watch  over  them,  and 


administer  the  balm  of  comfort  in  time  of  sickness, 
no  generous  friend  to  relieve  their  distresses,  and 
save  them  from  indigence,  degradation,  and  ruin. 
These  reflections  harrowed  up  mj  soul,  nor  could  I 
cease  to  shudder  at  these  imaginary  evils,  added  to 
my  real  ones,  until  I  vt^as  forced  mentally  to  exclaim, 
"  Thy  vi^ays,  great  Father  of  the  universe,  are  wise 
and  just,  and  what  am  I !  an  atom  of  dust,  that  dares 
to  murmur  at  thy  dispensations." 

I  next  considered,  that  eleven  of  my  fellow- suf- 
ferers,  who  had  entrusted  themselves  to  my  care, 
were  still  alive  and  with  me,  and  all  but  two  of  them 
(who  were  on  the  watch)  lying  on  the  ground,  and 
wrapped  in  the  most  profound  and  apparently  pleas- 
ing sleep;  and  as  I   surveyed  them  with   tears   of 
compassion,  l  felt  it  was  a  sacred  duty  assigned  me 
by  Providence,  to  protect  and  preserve  their  lives  to 
my  very  utmost.     The  night  passed  slowly  and  te- 
diously  away;   when  daylight   at   length  began  to 
dawn  in   the  eastern  horizon,  and  chased  darkness 
before  it,  not  to  usher  to  our  view  the  cheering  pros- 
pect of  approaching  relief,  but  to  unfold  new  scenes 
of  suffering,  wretchedness,  and  distress.     So  soon 
as  it  was  fairly  light,  tJie  old  man  came  down,  ac- 
companied by  his  wives  and  two  young  men  q^  the 
same  family — he  was  armed  with  a  spear  of  iron, 
having  a  handle   made   with   two   pieces   of  wood 
spliced  together,  and  tied  with  cords:  the  handle 
was  about  twelve  feet  long.     This  he  held  balanced 
in  his  right  hand,  above  his  head,  making  motions 
as  if  to  throw  it  at  us;  he  ordered   us  off  to  the 
wreck,  pointing,  at  the  same  time,  to  a  large  drove 


of  camels  that  were  descending  the  heights  to  the 
eastward  of  us,  his  women  running  off  at  the  same 
time,  whooping  and  yelling  horribly,  throwing  up 
sand  in  the  air,  and  beckoning  to  those  who  had 
charge  of  the  camels  to  approach.  I  ran  towards 
the  beach,  and  seized  a  small  spar  that  lay  there,  to 
parry  olf  the  old  man's  lance,  as  a  handspike  was 
not  long  enough.  He  in  the  meantime  came  to  the 
tent  like  a  fury,  where  the  people  still  were,  and  by 
slightly  pricking  one  or  two  of  them,  and  pointing 
at  the  same  time  towards  the  camels,  he  succeeded 
in  frightening  them,  which  was  his  object,  as  he  did 
not  wish  to  call  help,  lest  he  should  be  obliged  to 
divide  the  spoil.  The  crew  all  made  the  best  of 
their  way  to  the  small  boat,  while  I  parried  off  his 
spear  with  my  spar,  and  kept  him  at  a  distance.  He 
would  doubtless  have  burled  it  at  me,  but  for  the 
fear  of  losinof  it. 

The  small  boat  was  dragged  to  the  water, 
alongside  our  hawser,  but  the  people  huddling  into 
her  in  a  confused  manner,  she  was  filled  by  the  first 
sea,  and  bilged.  I  now  thought  we  had  no  resource, 
except  trying  to  get  eastward  or  westward.  Aban- 
doning, therefore,  our  boats,  provisions,  &;c.  we  tried 
to  retreat  eastward,  but  were  opposed  by  this  for- 
midable spear,  and  could  not  make  much  progress ; 
for  the  old  man  was  very  active.  He  would  fly 
from  us  like  the  wind,  and  return  with  the  same 
speed.  The  camels  were  approaching  very  fast, 
and  he  made  signs  to  inform  us,  that  the  people  who 
were  with  them  had  fire  arms,  and  would  put  us 
instantly  to  death;  at  the  same  time  opposing  us 


every  way  vrith  his  young  men,  with  all  their  wea- 
pons, Insisting  on  our  going  towards  the  wreck,  and 
refusing  to  receive  our  submission,  while  the  women 
and  children  still  kept  up  their  yelling.  We  then 
laid  hold  of  the  long-boat,  turned  her  over,  and  got 
her  into  the  water;  and  as  I  would  suffer  only  one 
at  a  time  to  get  on  board,  and  that  too  over  her 
stern,  we  succeeded  at  length,  and  all  got  off  safe 
alongside  the  wreck,  which  made  a  tolerable  lee  for 
the  boat,  though  she  was  by  this  time  half  filled  with 

'  All  hands  got  on  board  the  wreck  except  myself 
and  another,  we  kept  bailing  the  boat,  and  were 
able  to  keep  her  from  entirely  filhng,  having  one 
bucket  and  a  keg  to  work  with.  The  moment  we  were 
out  of  the  way,  all  the  family  ran  together  where 
our  tent  was ;  here  they  were  joined  by  the  camels 
and  two  young  men,  which  we  had  not  before  seen, 
apparently  about  the  ages  of  twenty  and  twenty-six. 
They  were  armed  with  scimitars,  and  came  running 
on  foot  from  the  eastward.  The  old  man  and 
women  ran  to  meet  them,  hallooing  to  us,  brandishing 
their  naked  weapons  and  bidding  us  defiance.  They 
loaded  the  barrels  of  bread  on  their  camels,  which 
kneeled  down  to  receive  them ;  the  beef  and  all  the 
other  provisions,  with  the  sail  that  the  tent  was  made 
of,  &c.  &c.  and  sent  them  off  with  the  children  who 
drove  them  down.  The  old  man  next  came  to  the 
beach ;  with  his  axe  stove  in  all  the  heads  of  our  wa- 
ter casks  and  casks  of  wines,  emptying  their  contents 
into  the  sand.  They  then  gathered  up  all  the  trunks, 
chests,  sea  i^nstruments,  books  and  charts,  and  con- 

WRECK    OF    THE    COMMERCE.  29 

sumed  them  by  fire  in  one  pile.  Our  provisions  and  wa- 
ter being  gone,  we  saw  no  other  alternative  but  to  try 
to  get  to  sea  in  our  leaky  boat,  or  stay  and  be  washed 
oil  the  wreck  the  next  night,  or  to  perish  by  the  hands 
of  these  barbarians,  who  we  expected  would  appear 
in  great  force,  and  bring  fire  arms  with  them,  and 
they  would  besides  soon  be  enabled  to  walk  to  the 
wreck  on  a  sand  bar  that  was  fast  forming  inside  of 
the  vessel,  and  now  nearly  dry  at  low  water.  The 
tide  seemed  to  ebb  and  flow  about  twelve  feet. 
We  had  now  made  all  the  preparations  in  our  power 
for  our  departure,  which  amounted  to  nothing  more 
than  getting  from  the  wreck  a  few  bottles  of  wine 
and  a  few  pieces  of  salt  pork.  No  water  could  be 
procured,  and  the  bread  was  completely  spoiled 
by  being  soaked  in  salt  water.  Our  oars  were  all 
lost  except  two  that  were  on  shore  in  the  power  of 
the  natives.  We  had  split  a  couple  of  plank  for 
oars,  and  attempted  to  shove  off,  but  a  surf  striking  the 
boat,  came  over  her  bow,  and  nearly  filling  her  with 
water,  drifted  her  again  alongside  the  wreck.  We 
now  made  shift  to  get  on  board  the  wreck  again,  and 
bail  out  the  boat;  which  when  done,  two  hands  were 
able  to  keep  her  free,  while  two  others  held  her 
steady  by  ropes,  so  as  to  prevent  her  from  dashing 
to  pieces  against  the  wreck. 


CHAP.  V. 

The  natives  seize  the  author  by  perfidy^  and  then  get 
possession  of  the  money — the  author^s  critical  situa- 
tion on  shore — He  escapes  to  the  wreck — Atitonio 
Michel  is  massacred. 

The  sight  of  our  deplorable  situation  seemed  to 
excite  pity  in  the  breasts  of  the  savages  who  had 
driven  us  from  the  shore.  They  came  down  to  the 
water's  edge,  bowed  themselves  to  the  ground,  beck- 
oning us,  and  particularly  me,  whom  they  knew  to  be 
the  captain,  to  come  on  shore ;  making  at  the  same 
time  all  the  signs  of  peace  and  friendship  they 
could.  They  carried  all  their  arms  up  over 
the  sand  hills,  and  returned  without  them.  Find- 
ing I  would  not  come  on  shore,  one  of  them 
ran  and  fetched  a  small  goat  or  dog  skin,  which, 
by  signs,  they  made  me  understand  was  filled 
with  water,  and  all  retiring  to  a  considerable  dis- 
tance from  the  beach,  except  the  old  man  who  had 
it :  he  came  into  the  water  with  it  up  to  his  arm- 
pits, beckoning  me  to  come  and  fetch  it  and  drink. 
He  was  nearly  naked,  and  had  no  weapons  about 
him.  Being  very  thirsty,  and  finding  we  could  not 
get  at  any  water,  and  no  hope  remaining  of  our  being 
able  to  get  out  through  the  surf  to  sea,  I  let  myself 
down  by  the  hawser,  and  went  by  means  of  it  to  the 
beach,  where  the  old  man  met  me  and  gave  me  the 
skin  of  water,  which  I  carried  oif  to  the  wreck,  and 
the  people  hauled  it  up  on  board.     This  done,  he 


made  me  understand  that  he  wished  to  go  on  boards 
and  me  to  remain  on  the  beach  until  his  return. 

Seeing  no  possible  chance  of  escaping  or  of  pre- 
serving our  lives  in  any  other  way  but  by  their  as- 
sistance, and  that  that  was  only  to  be  obtained  by 
conciliating  them — telling  my  men  my  mind,  I  went 
again  to  the  shore.  The  young  men,  women,  and 
children,  were  now  seated  unarmed  on  the  beach, 
near  the  water — the  grown  people  nearly,  and  the 
children  entirely  naked.  They  made  all  the  signs 
of  peace  they  knew  of,  looking  upwards,  as  if  invo- 
king heaven  to  witness  their  sincerity.  The  old 
man  advancing,  took  me  by  the  hand,  and  looking 
up  to  heaven,  said,  "  Jlllah  K.  Beer.''''  I  knew  that 
Allah  was  the  Arabic  name  for  the  Supreme  Being, 
and  supposed  K.  Beer  meant,  "  our  friend  or 
father."  I  let  him  pass  to  the  wreck,  and  went  and 
seated  myself  on  the  beach  with  the  others,  who 
seemed  very  friendly,  lacing  their  fingers  in  with 
mine,  putting  my  hat  on  one  another's  heads,  and 
returning  it  to  me  again,  stroking  down  my  trowsers, 
feeling  my  head  and  hands,  examining  my  shoes,  and 
feeling  into  my  pockets,  &;c. 

When  the  people  had  hauled  the  old  man  on 
board,  I  endeavoured  to  make  them. understand  that 
they  must  keep  him  until  I  was  released,  but  they 
did  not  comprehend  my  meaning,  owing  to  the  noise 
of  the  surf,  and  after  he  had  satisfied  his  curiosity 
by  looking  attentively  at  every  thing  he  could  see, 
which  was  nothing  more  than  the  wreck  of  the  con- 
tents of  the  hold  floating  in  her,  inquiring  for  baftas, 
for  fire-arms,  and  for  money,  as  I  afterwards  learnt, 


and  finding  none,  he  came  on  shore.     When  he  was 
near  the  beach,  and  I  about  to  rise  to  meet  him,  I 
was  seized  by  both  arms  by  the  two  stoutest  of  the 
young  men,  who  had  placed  themselves  on  each  side 
of   me,   for   the  purpose    of   safe-keeping.       They 
grasped  my  arms  like  lions,  and  at  that  instant  the 
women  and  children  presented  their  daggers,  knives 
and    spears    to   my    head   and   breast.       To  strive 
against  them  was  instant  death;    I  was   therefore 
obliged   to  remain   quiet,  and  determined  to  show 
no  concern  for  my  life,  or  any  signs  of  fear.     The 
countenance  of  every  one  around  me  now  assumed 
the   most  horrid  and   malignant  expressions;  they 
gnashed  their  teeth  at  me,  and  struck  their  daggers 
within  an  inch  of  every  part  of  my  head  and  body. 
The  young  men  still  held  me  fast,  while  the  old  one 
seizing  a  sharp  scimitar,  laid  hold  of  my  hair  at  the 
same  instant,  as  if  to  cut  my  throat,  or  my  head  off. 
I  concluded  my  last  moments  had  come,  and  that  my 
body  was  doomed  to  be  devoured  by  these  beings, 
whom  I  now  considered  to  be  none  other  than  Can- 
nibals  that  would  soon  glut  their  hungry  stomachs 
with  my   flesh.      I  could   only  say,  "  Thy  will   be 
done,"  mentally,  and  felt  resigned  to  my  fate,  for  I 
thought  it  could  not  be  prevented.     But  this  con- 
duct on   their  part,  it  soon  appeared,  was  only  for 
the   purpose  of  frightening  me,  and  as  I  had  not 
chan2;ed  countenance,  the  old  man,  after  drawing  his 
scimitar  lightly  across  the  collar  of  my  shirt,  which 
he  cut  a  little,  released  my  head,  bidding  me  by 
sisrns  to  order  all  the  money  we  had  on  board  to  be 
brought  directly  on  shore. 

WRECK    OP    THE    COMMERCE.  33 

Mj  mates  and  people  then  pn  the  wreck,  had  wit- 
nessed this  scene,  and  had  agreed,  as  they  after- 
wards informed  me,  that  if  I  was  massacred,  which 
they  did  not  doubt  from  appearances  would  soon  be 
the  case,  to  rush  on  shore  in  the  boat,  armed  in  the 
best  manner  they  were  able,  and  revenge  my  death 
by  selling  their  lives  as  dearly  as  possible. 

When  the  old  man  had  quit  his  hold,  and  I  hailed 
my  people,  their  hopes  began  to  revive,  and  one  of 
them  came  on  the  hawser  to  know  what  they  should 
do.  I  told  him  all  the  money  which  they  had  on 
board  must  be  instantly  brought  on  shore.  He  was 
in  the  water  at  some  distance  from  me,  and  could 
not  hear,  on  account  of  the  noise  occasioned  by  the 
surf,  what  I  added,  which  was  for  them  not  to  part 
with  the  money  until  I  should  be  fairly  released. 
He  went  on  board,  and  all  hands  hoping  to  procure 
my  release,  put  their  money  which  they  still  had 
about  them,  to  the  amount  of  about  one  thousand 
dollars,  into  a  bucket,  and  slinging  it  on  a  hawser. 
Porter  shoved  it  along  before  him  near  the  beach, 
and  was  about  to  bring  it  up  to  the  place  where  I 
sat.  With  considerable  difficulty,  however,  I  pre- 
vented him,  as  the  surf  made  such  a  roaring,  that  he 
could  not  hear  me,  though  he  was  only  a  few  yards 
distant;  but  he  at  last  understood  my  signs,  and 
staid  in  the  water  until  one  of  the  young  men  went 
and  received  it  from  him.  The  old  man  had  taken 
his  seat  alongside  of  me,  and  held  his  scimitar  point- 
ed at  my  breast. 

The  bucket  of  dollars  was  brought  and  poured  into 
one  end  of  the  old  man's  blanket,  when  he  bid  me  rise 


34  CAPTAIN  Riley's  narrative, 

and  go  along  with  them,  he  and  the  young  men  urging 
me  along  by  both  arms,  with  their  daggers  drawn 
before,  and  the  women  and  children  behind  with  the 
spear,  and  their  knives  near  my  back.  In  this  man- 
ner they  made  me  go  with  them  over  the  sand  drifts 
to  the  distance  of  three  or  four  hundred  yards, 
where  they  seated  themselves  and  me  on  the  ground. 
The  old  man  then  proceeded  to  count  and  divide  the 
money.  He  made  three  heaps  of  it,  counting  into 
each  heap  by  tens,  and  so  dividing  it  exactly,  gave 
to  the  two  young  men  one-third  or  heap — to  his  two 
wives  one-third,  and  kept  the  other  to  himself  Each 
secured  his  and  their  own  part,  by  wrapping  and 
tying  it  up  in  some  of  our  clothing.  During  this 
process,  they  had  let  go  of  my  arms,  though  they 
were  all  around  me.  I  thought  my  fate  was  now 
decided,  if  I  could  not  by  some  means  effect  my  es- 
cape. I  knew  they  could  outrun  me,  if  I  should  leap 
from  them,  and  would  undoubtedly  plunge  their 
weapons  to  my  heart  if  I  attempted,  and  failed  in 
the  attempt.  However  I  resolved  to  risk  it,  and 
made  a  slight  movement  with  that  view  at  a  moment 
when  I  thought  all  eyes  were  turned  from  me ;  but 
one  of  the  young  men  perceiving  my  mana?uvre, 
made  a  lounge  at  me  with  his  scimitar.  I  eluded 
the  force  of  his  blow,  by  falling  backwards  on  the 
ground ;  it  however  pierced  mj  waistcoat.  He  was 
about  to  repeat  it,  when  the  old  man  bade  him  desist. 
The  money  being  now  distributed  and  tied  up, 
they  made  me  rise  with  them,  and  were  all  going  to- 
gether from  the  beach,  holding  me  by  the  arms  with 
naked  dao;gers  all  around  me.     There  appeared  now 

WRECK    OF    THE    COMMERCE.  35 

no  possible  means  of  escape,  when  the  thought  sud- 
denly suggested  to  me,  to  tempt  their  avarice.  I 
then,  by  signs,  made  them  understand  that  there  was 
more  money  in  the  possession  of  the  crew.  This 
seemed  to  please  them,  and  they  instantly  turned 
themselves  and  me  about  for  the  beach,  sending  the 
money  off  by  one  of  the  young  men  and  a  boy. 
When  they  approached  to  within  one  hundred  yards 
of  the  beach,  they  made  me  seat  myself  on  the  sand 
between  two  of  them,  who  held  me  by  the  arms, 
bidding  me  order  the  money  on  shore.  I  knew  there 
was  none  on  board  the  wreck,  or  in  the  boat,  but  I 
imagined  if  I  could  get  Antonio  Michel  on  shore,  I 
should  be  able  to  make  my  escape.  I  hailed  accord- 
ingly, and  made  signs  to  my  people  to  have  one  ol 
them  come  near  th^  shore  ;  but  as  they  saw,  by  every 
movement  of  the  natives,  that  my  situation  was 
dreadfully  critical,  none  of  them  were  inclined  to 
venture,  and  I  waited  more  than  an  hour,  was  often 
threatened  with  death,  and  made  to  halloo  with  all 
my  might,  until  I  became  so  hoarse  as  scarcely  to 
make  myself  heard  by  those  around  me.  The  pity 
of  Mr.  Savage  at  last  overcame  his  fears.  He  ven- 
tured on  the  hawser,  and  reaching  the  beach  in 
safety,  was  about  to  come  up  to  me,  where  he  would 
have  been  certainly  seized  on  as  I  was,  when  I  en- 
deavoured to  make  him  understand,  by  signs,  that  he 
must  stay  in  the  water,  and  keep  clear  of  the  na- 
tives, if  he  valued  his  life;  but  not  being"  able  to  hear 
me,  my  guards,  who  supposed  I  was  giving  him  or- 
ders to  fetch  the  money,  obliged  me  to  get  up  and 
approach  him  a  little,  until  I  made  him  understand 


what  I  wanted:  he  then  returned  on  hoard  the 
wreck,  and  I  was  taken  back  to  my  former  station. 

Antonio  came  to  the  shore,  as  soon  as  he  knew  it 
■ytras  my  wish,  and  made  directly  towards  me.  The 
natives  expecting  he  would  bring  more  money,  flock- 
ed about  him  to  receive  it,  but  finding  he  had  none, 
struck  him  with  their  fists  and  the  handles  of  their 
daggers,  and  stripped  oiT  all  his  clothing :  the  chil- 
dren at  the  same  time  pricking  him  with  their  sharp 
knives,  and  all  seemed  determined  to  torment  him 
with  a  slow  and  cruel  death.  He  besfffed  for  his 
life  upon  his  knees,  but  they  paid  no  regard  to  his 
entreaties.  In  hopes  of  saving  him  from  the  fury  of 
these  wretches,  I  told  him  to  let  them  know  by  signs 
that  there  were  dollars  and  other  things  buried  in 
the  sand,  near  where  our  tent  had  stood,  and  to 
endeavour  to  find  them  by  digging.  A  new  spy- 
glass, a  handsaw,  and  several  other  things,  had  been 
buried  there,  and  a  bag  containing  about  four  hun- 
dred dollars  at  a  short  distance  from  them.  He 
soon  made  them  understand  that  somethins:  was 
buried,  and  they  hurried  him  to  the  spot  he  had 
pointed  out,  and  he  began  to  dig.  I  had  imagined 
that  if  this  man  would  come  on  shore,  I  should  be 
enabled  to  make  my  escape ;  yet  I  knew  not  how, 
nor  had  I  formed  any  plan  for  effecting  it.. 

I  was  seated  on  the  sand,  facing  the  sea,  between 
the  old  man  on  my  left,  with  his  spear  uplifted  in  his 
left  hand,  pointing  to  my  breast,  and  the  stoutest 
young  man  on  my  right,  with  a  naked  scimitar  in  his 
right  hand,  pointing  to  my  head — both  weapons  were 
within  six  inches  of  me,  and  my  guards  within  a  foot 









WRECK    OF    THE    COMMERCE.  ^7 

on  each  side.     I  considered  at  this  time,  that  so  soon 
as  any  thing  should  be  found  by  those  who  were  dig- 
ging, they  would  naturally  speak  and  inform  those 
who  guarded  me  of  it ;  (these  had  let  go  of  my  arms 
sometime  before)   and  as  I  was  pretty  certain  that 
both  of  them  would   look  round  as  soon  as  the  dis- 
covery of  any  treasure  should  be  announced,  I  care- 
fully drew  up  my  legs  under  me,  but  without  exciting 
suspicion,  in  order  to  be   ready  for  a  start.     The 
place  where  they  were  digging,  was  partly  behind 
us  on  our  right,    and  upon  their  making   a  noise, 
both  my  guards  turned  their  heads  and  eyes  from 
me  towards  them,  when  I  instantly  sprang  out  from 
beneath   their  weapons,  and  flew  to  the  beach.     I 
was  running  for  my  life,  and  soon  reached  the  water's 
edge :  knowing  I  was  pursued,  and  nearly  overtaken, 
I  plunged  into  the  sea,  with  all  my  force,  head  fore- 
most, and  swam  under  water  as  long  as  I  could  hold 
ray  breath;    then   rising   to   the  surface,  I   looked 
round  on  my  pursuers.     The  old  man  was  within 
ten  feet  of  me,  up  to  his  chin  in  water,  and  was  in 
the  act  of  darting  his  spear  through  my  body,  when 
a  surf  rolling  over  me,  saved  my  life,   and  dashed 
him  and  his  comrades  on  the  beach.     I  was  some 
distance  westward  of  the  wreck,  but  swimming  as 
fast  as  possible  towards  her,  whilst  surf  after  surf 
broke  in  towering  heights  over  me,  until  I  was  ena- 
bled by  almost  superhuman  exertion  to  reach  the  lee 
of  the  wreck,  when  I  was  taken  into  the  boat  over 
the  stern  by  the  mates  and  people. 

I  was  so  far  exhausted  that  I  could  not  immedi- 
ately witness  what  passed  on  shore,  but  was  inform- 


ed  by  those  who  did,  that  my  pursuers  stood  motion- 
less  on  the  beach,  at  the  edge  of  the  water,  until  I 
was  safe  in  the  boat :  that  they  then  ran  towards 
poor  Antonio,  and  plunging  a  spear  into  his  body 
near  his  left  breast  downwards,  laid  him  dead  at 
their  feet.  They .  then  picked  up  what  things  re- 
mained, and  made  off  altogether.  I  saw  them  drag- 
mnv  Antonio's  lifeless  trunk  across  the  sand  hills, 
and  felt  an  inexpressible  pang,  that  bereft  me  for  a 
moment  of  all  sensation,  occasioned  by  a  suggestion 
that  to  me  alone  his  massacre  was  imputable;  but 
on  my  recovery,  when  I  reflected  there  were  no 
other  means  whereby  my  own  life  could  have  been 
preserved,  and  under  Providence,  tlie  lives  of  ten 
men,  who  had  been  committed  to  my  charge,  I  con- 
cluded I  had  not  done  wrong,  nor  have  I  since  had 
occasion  to  reproach  myself  for  being  the  innocent 
cause  of  his  destruction,  nor  did  any  of  my  surviving 
shipmates,  though  perfectly  at  hberty  so  to  do,  ever 
accuse  me  on  this  point;  from  which  I  think  I  have 
an  undoubted  right  to  infer,  that  their  feelings  per- 
fectly coincided  with  mine  on  this  melancholy  oc- 

Hostilities  had  now  commenced,  and  we  could  not 
doubt  but  these  merciless  ruffians  would  soon  return 
in  force,  and  when  able  to  overpower  us,  would 
massacre  us  all  as  they  had  already  done  Antonio. 
The  wind  blowing  strong,  and  the  surf  breaking 
outside  and  on  the  wreck  twenty  or  thirty  feet  high, 
the  hope  of  getting  to  sea  in  our  crazy  long-boat  was 
indeed  but  faint.  She  had  been  thumping  alongside 
the   wreck,    and    on    a    sand    bank   all    day,    and 

WRECK    OF    THE    COMMERCE.  39 

writhed  like  an  old  basket,  taking  in  as  much  water 
as  two  men  constantly  employed  with  buckets  could 
throw  out.  The  deck  and  outside  of  the  wreck 
were  fast  going  to  pieces,  and  the  other  parts  could 
not  hold  together  long.  The  tide,  (by  being  low) 
together  with  the  sand  bar  that  had  been  fornied  by 
the  washins:  of  the  sea  from  the  bow  of  the  wreck 
to  the  beach,  had  very  much  lessened  the  danger  of 
communicating  with  the  shore  during  this  day  ;  but 
it  was  now  returning  to  sweep  every  thing  from  the 
wreck,  aided  by  the  wind,  which  blew  a  gale  on 
shore  every  night.  To  remain  on  the  wreck,  or  go 
on  shore,  was  almost  certain  death ;  the  boat  could  no 
longer  be  kept  afloat  alongside,  and  being  without 
provisions  or  water,  if  we  should  put  to  sea,  we 
must  soon  perish.  We  had  neither  oars  nor  a  rud- 
der to  the  boat;  no  compass  nor  a  quadrant  to  di- 
rect her  course;  but  as  it  was  our  only  chance.  Ire- 
solved  to  try  and  get  to  sea;  expecting,  neverthe- 
less, we  should  be  swallowed  up  by  the  first  surf, 
and  launched  into  eternity  all  together. 

I,  in  the  first  place,  sent  Porter  on  shore  to  get  the 
two  broken  oars  that  were  still  lying  there,  while  I 
made  my  way  through  the  water,  into  the  hold  of  the 
wreck,  to  try  once  more  if  any  fresh  water  could  be 
found.  I  dove  in  at  the  hatchway,  which  was  cov- 
ered with  water,  and  found,  after  coming  up  under 
the  deck  on  the  larboard  side,  as  I  expected,  just 
room  enough  to  breathe,  and  to  work  among  the 
floating  casks,  planks,  and  wreck  of  the  hold.  Af- 
ter much  labour  I  found  a  water  cask,  partly  full,  and 
turning  it  over,  discovered  that  its  bung  was  tight. 
This  gave  me  new  courage,  and  after  upheading  it. 


I  carae  up  and  communicated  the  circumstance  to 
my  shipmates,  and  we  then  made  search  for  some 
smaller  vessel  to  fill  from  the  cask.  After  much  trou- 
ble, a  small  keg  was  found  in  the  after  hold ;  it  might 
probablv  hold  four  gallons — the  head  of  the  water- 
cask  was  stove  in,  and  with  the  help  of  Mr.  Savage 
and  Clark  I  got  the  keg  full  of  water,  and  a  good 
drink  for  all  hands  besides,  which  was  very  much 
needed.  The  others  were  in  the  meantime  employ- 
ed in  rigging  out  spars  which  we  had  lashed  together 
over  the  stern  of  the  wreck  with  a  rope  made  fast  to 
their  outer  ends,  in  order  to  give  the  boat  head- 
way, and  clear  her  from  the  wreck,  when  we  should 
finally  shove  off.  Porter  had  returned  with  the 
oars,  and  also  brought  the  bag  of  money  that  had 
been  buried,  containing  about  four  hundred  dollars : 
this  he  did  of  his  own  accord. 

We  had  got  the  small  boat's  sails,  consisting  of  a 
jib  and  mainsail,  into  the  boat,  with  a  spar  that 
would  do  for  a  mast,  and  the  brig's  fore-topmast 
staysail ;  the  keg  of  water,  a  few  pieces  of  salt  pork, 
a  live  pig,  weighing  about  twenty  pounds,  which 
had  escaped  to  the  shore  when  the  vessel  struck, 
and  which  had  swam  back  to  us  again  when  we 
were  driven  from  the  shore  ;  about  four  pounds  of 
figs,  that  had  been  soaking  in  salt  water  ever  since 
the  brijr  was  wrecked,  and  had  been  fished  out  of 
her  cabin :  this  was  all  our  stock  of  provisions. 

Every  thing  being  now  ready,  I  endeavoured  to 
encourage  the  crew  as  well  as  I  could ;  representing 
to  them  that  it  was  better  to  be  swallowed  up  all 
together,  than  to  suffer  ourselves  to  be  massacred 


bj  the  ferocious  savages ;  adding,  that  the  Almighty 
was  able  to  save,  even  when  the  last  ray  of  hope 
was  vanishing ;  we  should  never  despair,  but  exert 
ourselves  to  the  last  extremity,  and  still  hope  for  his 
merciful  protection. 

As  we  surveyed  the  dangers  that  surrounded  us, 
wave  following  wave,  breaking  with  a  dreadful  crash 
just  outside  of  us,  at  every  instant,  our  hearts  indeed 
failed  us,  and  there  appeared  no  possibility  of  getting 
safely  beyond  the  breakers,  without  a  particular  in- 
terference of  Providence  in  our  favour.  The  parti- 
cular interference  of  Providence  in  any  case  I  had 
always  before  doubted.  Every  one  trembled  with 
dreadful  apprehensions,  and  each  imagined  that  the 
moment  we  ventured  past  the  vessel's  stern,  would 
be  his  last.  I  then  said,  "  let  us  pull  off  our  hats, 
my  shipmates  and  companions  in  distress."  This 
was  done  in  an  instant ;  when  lifting  my  eyes  and  my 
soul  towards  heaven,  I  exclaimed,  "  great  Creator 
and  preserver  of  the  universe,  who  now  seest  our 
distresses;  we  pray  thee  to  spare  our  lives,  and  per- 
mit us  to  pass  through  this  overwhelming  surf  to 
the  open  sea;  but  if  we  are  doomed  to  perish,  thy 
will  be  done ;  we  commit  our  souls  to  the  mercy  of 
thee  our  God,  who  gave  them:  and  O!  universal 
Father,  protect  and  preserve  our  widows  andrchil- 

The  wind,  as  if  by  divine  command,  at  this  very 
moment  ceased  to  blow.  We  hauled  the  boat  out; 
the  dreadful  surges  that  were  nearly  bursting  upon  us, 
suddenly  subsided,  making  a  path  for  our  boat  about 
twenty  yards  wide,  through  which  we  rowed -heg 



out  as  smoothly  as  if  she  had  been  on  a  river  in  a 
calm,  whilst  on  each  side  of  us,  and  not  more 
than  ten  yards  distant,  the  surf  continued  to 
break  twenty  feet  high,  and  with  unabated  fury. 
We  had  to  row  nearly  a  mile  in  this  manner;  all 
were  fully  convinced  that  we  were  saved  by  the 
immediate  interposition  of  divine  Providence  in  this 
particular  instance,  and  all  joined  in  returning  thanks 
to  the  Supreme  Being  for  this  mercy.  As  soon  as  we 
reached  the  open  sea,  and  had  gained  some  distance 
from  the  wreck,  the  surf  returned  combing  behind  • 
us  with  the  same  force  as  on  each  side  the  boat. 
We  next  fitted  the  mast,  and  set  the  small  boat's 
mainsail.  The  wind  now  veered  four  points  to  the 
eastward,  so  that  we  were  enabled  to  fetch  past  the 
point  of  the  Cape;  though  the  boat  had  neither 
keel  nor  rudder,  it  was  sunset  when  we  got  out,  and 
night  coming  on,  the  wind  as  usual  increased  to  a 
gale  before  morning,  and  we  kept  the  boat  to  the 
wind  by  the  help  of  an  oar,  expecting  every  moment 
to  be  swallowed  up  by  the  waves.  We  were 
eleven  in  number  on  board ;  two  constantly  bailing 
were  scarcely  able  to  keep  her  free,  changing  hands 
every  half  hour.  The  night  was  very  dark  and 
foggy,  and  we  could  not  be  sure  of  fetching  clear  of 
the  land,  having  nothing  to  guide  us  but  the  wind.  In 
the  morning  we  sailed  back  again  for  the  land,  and 
had  approached  it  almost  within  reach  of  the 
breakers  without  seeing  it,  when  we  put  about 
again.  It  had  been  my  intention  after  we  had  got  to 
Sipa,  to  run   down  the  coast  in  the  hope  of   finding 


some  vessel,  or  to  discover  the  mouth  of  some  river, 
in  order  to  obtain  a  supply  of  water.     But  now  the 
dan2:ers  and  ditHculties  we  should  have  to  encounter 
in  doing  this  were  taken  into  consideration.     If  we 
tried  to  navigate  along  the  coast,  it  was  necessary  to 
know  our  course,  or  we  should  be  in  imminent  dan- 
ger of  being  dashed  to  pieces    on  it*  every  dark 
day,  and  every  night.      The  thick  foggy  weather 
would  prevent  our  seeing  the  land  in  the  day  time ; 
whilst  the  wind,  blowing  almost  directly  on  the  land, 
would  force   us  towards  it,  and  endanger  the  safety 
of  both  the   boat  and  our  lives  at  every  turn   or 
point.     We  had  no  compass  to  guide  us  either  by 
day  or  night ;  no   instrument  by  which  to  find  our 
latitude ;   no  rudder  to  steer  our  crazy  boat  with, 
nor  were  we  in  possession  of  materials  wherewith  it 
was  possible  to  make  one ;  the  boat  had   no  keel  to 
steady  her,  nor  was  there   a  steering  place  in  her 
stern,  where  an  oar  could  be  fixed  by  any  other  means 
than  by  lashing  to  the  stern  ring,  which  afforded  a 
very  unsteady  hold.     On  the  one  hand,  we  reflected 
that  if  we  escaped  the  danger  of    being  driven   on 
shore  or  foundering  at  sea,  and   should   succeed  in 
reaching  the  cultivated  country  south  of  the  desart, 
we  should  have  to  encounter  the  ferocious  inhabitants, 
who  would  not  fail,  in  the  hope  of  plunder,  to  mas- 
sacre, or  doom  us  to   slavery,  a  slow  but  painful 
death.    On  the  other  hand,  we  reflected  that  we  had 
escaped  from  savages  who  had  already  killed  one  of 
our  shipmates,  had  gained  the  open  sea  through  divine 
mercy,  and  could  stand  off  to  the  westward  without 


fear  of  being  driven  on  shore.  In  this  direction  we 
might  meet  with  some  friendly  vessel  to  save  us, 
which  was  our  only  hope  in  that  way,  andthe  worst 
that  could  happen  to  us  was  to  sink  all  together  in  the 
sea,  or  gradually  perish  through  want  of  sustenance. 
Having  considered,  and  represented  to  my  com- 
panions the  dangers  that  beset  us  on  every  side,  I 
asked  their  opinions  one  by  one,  and  found  they  were 
unanimously  in  favour  of  committing  themselves  to  the 
open  sea  in  preference  to  keeping  along  the  coast. 
The  dangers  appeared  to  be  fewer,  and  all  agreed 
that  it  was  better  to  perish  on  the  ocean,  if  it  was 
God's  will,  than  by  the  hands  of  the  natives.  There 
being  a  strong  breeze,  we  stood  off  by  the  wind 
and  rigged  our  jib.  We  now  agreed  to  put  our- 
selves upon  allowance  of  one  bottle  of  water  and 
half  a  bottle  of  wine  among  eleven  of  us,  and  a 
scrap  of  pork  and  two  soaked  and  salted  figs  for  each 
man.  During  this  day,  which  was  the  30th  August, 
1815,  we  fitted  waist  cloths  to  go  round  above  the 
gunwale  of  the  boat,  to  prevent  the  sea  from  dashing 
over;  they  were  from  eight  to  ten  inches  broad, 
made  from  the  brig's  fore-staysail,  and  were  kept 
up  by  small  pieces  of  a  board  which  we  formed  in 
the  boat,  so  that  they  helped  in  some  measure  to 
keep  off  the  spray.  It  had  been  cloudy  all  day,  and 
the  boat  leaked  faster  than  she  had  done  before. 
As  niofht  came  on  the  wind  blew  hard  and  raised  the 
sea  very  high,  but  the  boat  was  kept  near  the  wind 
by  her  sails,  and  drifted  broadside  before  it,  smoothing 
the  sea  to  the  windward,  and  did  not  ship  a  great  deal 


of  water.  On  the  31st  it  became  more  moderate,  but 
the  weather  was  very  thick  and  hazy.  Our  pig 
being  nearly  dead  for  the  want,  of  water,  we  killed 
it,  taking  care  however  to  save  his  blood ;  which  we 
divided  amongst  us  and  drank,  our  thirst  having  be- 
came almost  insupportable.  We  also  divided  the 
pig's  liver,  intestines,  &c.  between  us,  and  ate  some  of 
them,  (as  they  were  fresh)  to  satisfy,  in  some  degree, 
our  thirst.  Thus  this  day  passed  away;  no  vessel 
was  yet  seen  to  relieve  us;  we  had  determined  to  save 
our  urine  for  drink,  which  we  accordingly  did  in 
6on|e  empty  bottles,  and  found  great  relief  from  the 
use  of  it;  for  being  obliged  to  labour  hard  by  turns 
to  keep  the  boat  above  water,  our  thirst  was  much  more 
severely  felt  than  if  we  had  remained  still.  The 
night  came  on  very  dark  and  lowering;  the  sky 
seemed  big  with  an  impending  tempest ;  the  wind 
blew  hard  from  the  N.  E.  and  before  midnight  the 
sea  combed  into  the  boat  in  such  quantities  as 
several  times  to  fill  her  more  than  half  full.  All 
hands  were  employed  in  throwing  out  the  water 
with  hats  and  other  things,  each  believing  his  final 
hour  had  at  length  arrived,  and  expecting  that  every 
approaching  surge  would  bury  him  forever  in  a 
watery  grave. 

The  boat  racked  like  an  old  basket,  letting  in  water 
at  every  seam  and  split ;  her  timbers  working  out  or 
breaking  off;  the  nails  I  had  put  in  while  last  on 
shore  were  kept  from  entirely  drawing  out,  merely 
by  the  pressure  of  the  water  acting  on  the  outside 
of  the  boat.  Sharp  flashes  of  lightning  caused  by 
heat  and  vapour  shot  across  the  gloom,  rendering  the 


scene  doubly  horrid.  In  this  situation  some  of  the 
men  thought  it  was  no  longer  of  use  to  try  to  keep 
the  boat  afloat,  as  they  said  she  must  soon  fill  in 
spite  of  all  their  exertions.  Having  poured  out  our 
souls  before  our  God  and  implored  pardon  for  our 
transgressions,  each  one  felt  perfectly  resigned  to  his 
fate  :  this  was  a  trying  moment,  and  my  example  and 
advice  could  scarcely  induce  them  to  continue 
bailin.o-;  whilst  some  of  them,  bv  thrustine:  their  heads 
into  the  water,  endeavoured  to  ascertain  what  the 
pains  of  death  were  by  feeling  the  effects  the  water 
would  produce  on  their  organs.  Thus  passed  this 
night :  all  my  exertions  were  necessary  to  encourage 
the  men  to  assist  me  in  bailing  the  boat,  by  reminding 
them  ofour  miraculous  escape  from  the  savages,  and 
through  the  surf  to  the  open  sea,  and  enforcing  on 
their  minds  the  consideration  that  we  were  still  in 
the  hands  of  the  same  disposing  power,  and  that  we 
ought  not  to  suppose  we  were  aided  in  escaping 
from  the  shore  by  a  miracle  to  be  abandoned  here 
and  swallowed  up  by  the  ocean :  and  that  for  my 
own  part  I  still  entertained  hopes  of  our  preserva- 
tion ;  at  any  rate  that  it  was  a  duty  we  owed  to  God 
and  ourselves  to  strive  to  the  latest  breath  to  prevent 
our  own  destruction.  Day  came  on  amidst  these 
accumulated  horrors  ;  it  was  the  1st  of  September; 
thirst  pressed  upon  us,  which  we  could  only  allay  by 
wetting  our  mouths  twice  a  day  with  a  few  drops  oi" 
wine  and  water,  and  as  many  times  with  our  urine. 
The  wind  continued  to  blow  hard  all  this  dav, 
and  the  succeeding  night  with  great  violence,  and 
the  boat  to  work  and  leak  in  the  same  niRnuor  as 


before.  Worn  down  with  fatio^ues  and  lonff-con- 
tinued  hunger  and  thirst,  scorched  bj  the  burning 
rays  of  the  sun,  and  no  vessel  appearing  to  save  us, 
our  water  fast  diminishing,  as  well  as  our  strength, 
every  hope  of  succour  by  meeting  with  a  vessel  en- 
tirely failed  me,  so  that  in  the  afternoon  of  the  2d 
of  September,  I  represented  to  my  companions,  that 
as  we  were  still  alive,  after  enduring  so  many  trials, 
it  was  my  advice  to  put  about,  and  make  towards 
the  coast  again;  that  if  Ave  continued  at  sea,  we 
must  inevitably  perish,  and  that  we  could  but  perish 
in  returning  towards  the  land;  that  we  might  still 
exist  four  or  five  days  longer,  by  means  of  the  water 
and  provisions  that  remained,  and  that  it  might  be 
the  will  of  Providence  to  send  us  on  the  coast  where 
our  vessel  had  been  wrecked,  and  where  means  were 
perhaps  prepared  to  bring  about  our  deliverance 
and  restoration  to  our  country  and  our  families. 
All  seemed  convinced  that  it  was  so,  and  we  imme- 
diately put  about  with  a  kind  of  cheerfulness  I  had 
not  observed  in  any  countenance  since  our  first  dis- 

From  this  time  all  submitted  to  their  fate  with 
tolerable  patience,  and  kept  the  boat  free,  though 
we  had  continual  bad  weather,  without  murmuring. 
We  wetted  our  lips  with  wine  and  water  twice  every 
day,  and  ate  the  bones  and  some  of  the  raw  flesh  of 
our  pig,  with  its  skin ;  but  at  length  we  became  so 
faint  as  to  be  unable  to  take  our  turns  in  bailing, 
whilst  the  boat  laboured  so  much  as  to  work  off 
nearly  all  the  nails  that  kept  the  planks  to  her  tim- 
bers above  water. 


By  the  6th  of  September,  at  night,  we  had  not 
made  the  land,  and  could  not  hope  to  make  the  boat 
hold  together  in  any  manner  above  another  day. 
I  expected  we  should  have  found  the  land  that  day, 
but  was  disappointed,  and  some  of  the  people  began 
again  to  despair.  Impelled  by  thirst,  they  forgot 
what  they  owed  to  their  shipmates,  and  in  the  night 
got  at,  and  drank  off  one  of  the  two  bottles  of  wine 
we  had  remaining.  When  I  mentioned  the  loss  of 
the  wine  on  the  morning  of  the  7th,  all  denied 
having  taken  or  drank  it,  adding  that  it  was  an  un- 
pardonable crime,  and  that  those  who  did  it  ought 
to  be  thrown  overboard  instantly.  From  the  heat 
observable  in  their  conversation,  I  guessed  the  of- 
fenders, but  the  wine  was  gone,  and  no  remedy  re- 
mained but  patience,  and  stricter  vigilance  for  the 

In  a  short  time  we  discovered  land  at  a  great 
distance  ahead,  and  to  leeward.  This  gave  all  hands 
new  spirits;  hope  again  revived;  the  land  appeared 
perfectly  smooth  in  the  distant  horizon;  not  the 
smallest  rising  or  hill  was  to  be  seen,  and  I  conclu- 
ded we  must  be  near  a  desart  coast,  where  our  suf- 
ferings would  find  no  relief,  but  in  death.  We  con- 
tinued to  approach  the  land,  driving  along  to  the 
southward  by  a  swift  current,  roaring  like  a  strong 
tide  in  a  narrow  rocky  passage,  until  near  sunset. 

The  coast  now  appeared  to  be  formed  of  perpen- 
dicular and  overhanging  cliffs,  rising  to  a  great 
height,  with  no  shelving  shore  to  land  on,  or  way  by 
which  we  might  mount  to  the  top  of  the  precipices. 
My  opinion  was,  that  we  should  endeavour  to  keep 


to  sea  this  night  also,  and  steer  along  down  the 
coast,  until  bj  the  help  of  daylight,  we  might  find  a 
better  place  to  land,  and  where  we  should  not  be  in 
such  danger  of  being  overwhelmed  by  the  surf;  but 
in  this  I  was  opposed  by  the  united  voice  of  the 
mates  and  all  the  people. 

The  surf  was  breaking  high  among  the  rocks, 
near  the  shore :  we  were  now  very  near  the  land, 
and  seeing  a  small  spot  that  bore  the  appearance  of 
a  sand  beach,  we  made  for  it,  and  approaching  it 
with  the  help  of  our  oars,  we  were  carried  on  the 
top  of  a  tremendous  wave,  so  as  to  be  high  and  dry, 
when  the  surf  retired,  on  a  little  piece  of  sand  beach, 
just  large  enough  for  the  boat  to  lie  on.  Without 
us,  and  in  the  track  we  came,  numerous  fragments 
of  rocks  showed  their  craggy  heads,  over  which  the 
surf  foamed  as  it  retired,  with  a  dreadful  roaring, 
which  made  us  feel  we  had  once  more  escaped  in- 
stant destruction,  by  what  appeared  a  miraculous 
interference  of  Providence. 

We  got  out  of  the  boat,  and  carried  up  the  little 
remains  of  our  water  and  pork,  among  the  rocks 
beyond  the  reach  of  the  surf  The  remains  of  the 
pig  had  been  previously  consumed ;  our  boat  was 
now  stove  in  good  earnest;  over  our  heads  pended 
huge  masses  of  broken  and  shattered  rocks,  extend- 
ing both  ways  as  far  as  the  eye  could  reach :  our 
limbs  had  become  stiff  for  the  want  of  exercise ;  our 
flesh  had  wasted  away  for  the  want  of  sustenance, 
and  through  fatigue  our  tongues  were  so  stiff  in  our 
parched  mouths,  that  we  could  with  great  difficulty 
speak  so  as  to  be  understood  by  each  other,  though 



we  had  finished  our  last  bottle  of  wine  between  us, 
for  fear  of  losing  it,  just  before  we  ventured  to  the 
shore  through  the  surf. 

Being  thus  placed  on  dry  land,  we  had  yet  to  dis- 
cover how  we  were  to  reach  the  surface  above  us — 
so  taking  Mr.  Savage  with  me,  we  clambered  over 
the  rocks  to  the  westward,  (for  the  coast  running 
here  from  E.  N.  E.  to  W.  S.  W.  induced  me  to  think 
we  were  near  Cape  Blanco,  which  indeed  afterwards 
proved  to  be  the  case)  but  we  searched  in  vain,  and 
as  there  appeared  to  be  no  access  to  the  summit  in 
that  direction,  we  returned  (it  being  then  dark)  to 
our  shipmates,  who  had  been  busied  in  preparing  a 
place  on  the  sand,  between  rocks,  to  sleep  on.  We 
now  wet  our  mouths  with  water,  ate  a  small  slice  of 
the  fat  of  salt  pork,  and  after  pouring  out  our  souls 
before  the  universal  Benefactor,  in  prayers  and 
thanksgiving  for  his  mercy  and  his  long  continued 
goodness,  (as  had  constantly  been  our  custom)  we 
laid  down  to  rest,  and  notwithstanding  our  dreadful 
situation,  slept  soundly  till  daylight 



Sufferings  of  the  Crew,  and  manner  of  climbing  over 
the  rochs  along  the  sea-shore,  under  high  cliffs — 
reaching  the  surface  of  the  desart — meeting  with  a 
company  of  wandering  ^rabs,  by  whom  they  are 
seized  as  slaves,  and  stripped  naked. 

On  the  morning  of  September  the  8th,  as  soon  as 
it  was  h'ght,  being  much  refreshed  by  our  undisturb- 
ed sleep,  we  agreed  to  leave  all  we  had  that  was 
cumbrous  or  heavy,  and  try  to  make  our  way  to  the 
eastward,  in  hopes  of  finding  a  place,  whilst  we  had 
yet  strength  remaining,  to  dig  for  water,  or  to  get 
to  the  surface  of  the  land  above  us,  where  we  hoped 
to  find  some  herbage  or  vegetable  juice  to  allay,  in 
some  degree,  our  burning  thirst,  which  was  now 
rendered  more  grievous  than  ever,  by  our  eating  a 
few  muscles  that  were  found  on  the  rocks,  and  ex- 
tremely salt.  Having  agreed  to  keep  together,  and 
to  render  each  other  mutual  assistance,  we  divided 
amongst  us  the  Httle  water  we  had,  every  one  re- 
ceiving his  share  in  a  bottle,  in  order  to  preserve  it 
as  long  as  possible  :  then  taking  a  small  piece  or 
two  of  pork,  which  we  slung  on  our  backs,  either  in 
a  spare  shirt  or  a  piece  of  canvass,  leaving  all  our 
clothes  but  those  we  had  on,  and  our  jackets,  we 
bent  our  way  towards  the  east.  I  had,  before  start- 
ing, buried  the  bag  of  dollars,  and  induced  each 
man  to  throw  away  every  one  he  had  about  him,  as 
I  was  convinced  that  money  had  been  the  cause  of 


our  formei'  ill  treatment,  by  tempting  the  natives  to 
practise  treacherous  and  cruel  means,  in  order  to  ex- 
tort it  from  us. 

We  proceeded  now,  as  well  as  we  were  able, 
along  close  to  the  water  side.  The  land  was  either 
nearly  perpendicular,  or  jutting  over  our  heads, 
rising  to  the  height  of  from  five  to  six  hundred  feet, 
and  we  were  forced  to  climb  over  masses  of  sharp 
and  craggy  rocks,  from  two  to  three  hundred  feet  in 
height;  then  to  descend  again  by  letting  ourselves 
down  from  rock  to  rock,  until  we  reached  the 
water's  edge;  now  waiting  for  a  surf  to  retire,  while 
we  rushed  one  by  one  past  a  steep  point  up  to  our 
necks  in  the  water,  to  the  rocks  more  favourable  on 
the  other  side,  where  by  clinging  fast  hold,  we  kept 
ourselves  from  being  washed  away  by  the  next  surf, 
until,  with  each  other's  assistance,  we  clambered  up 
beyond  the  reach  of  the  greedy  billows.  The  beat- 
ins:  of  the  ocean,  and  the  force  of  the  currents 
against  this  coast,  had  undermined  the  precipices  in 
such  a  manner,  that  vast  masses  of  rocks,  gravel, 
and  sand,  had  given  way,  and  tumbled  to  the  shore. 
Rocks  falling  on  rocks,  had  formed  chasms,  through 
which  we  were  forced  to  pass  at  times,  for  a  long- 
distance, and  surmounting  one  obstacle,  seemed  only 
to  open  to  our  view  another,  and  a  more  dangerous 
one.  At  one  place,  we  were  obliged  to  climb  along 
on  a  narrow  ledge  of  rocks,  between  forty  and  fifty 
feet  high,  and  not  more  than  eight  inches  broad ; 
those  at  our  backs  were  perpendicular,  and  a  little 
higher  up,  huge  pieces  that  had  been  broken  off  from 
near  the  surface,  and  stopped  on  their  way  down  by 


other  fragments,  seemed  to  totter,  as  if  on  a  pivot, 
directly  over  our  heads ;  while  the  least  shp  must 
have  phmged  us  into  the  frightful  abyss  below, 
where  the  foaming  surges  would  instantly  have  dash- 
ed us  to  pieces  against  the  rocks.  Our  shoes  were 
nearly  all  worn  oif ;  our  feet  were  lacerated  and 
bleeding;  the  rays  of  the  sun  beating  on  our  ema- 
ciated bodies,  heated  them,  we  thought,  nearly  to 
dissolution;  and  under  these  towering  cliifs,  there 
was  not  a  breath  of  air  to  fan  our  almost  boihng 
blood.  I  had,  in  crawling  through  one  of  the  holes 
between  the  rocks,  broke  my  bottle,  and  spilled  the 
little  water  it  contained,  and  my  tongue  cleaving  to 
the  roof  of  my  mouth,  was  as  useless  as  a  dry  stick, 
until  I  was  enabled  to  loosen  it  by  a  few  drops  of 
my  more  than  a  dozen  times  distilled  urine. 

Thus  passed  this  day  with  us,  and  when  night 
came  on,  it  brought  with  jt  new  distresses.  We 
had  advanced  along  the  coast  not  more  than  about 
four  miles  this  day,  with  all  the  exertion  we  were 
capable  of,  without  finding  any  change  for  the  better 
in  our  local  situation,  whilst  our  strength  was  con- 
tinually diminishing,  and  no  circumstance  occurred 
to  revive  our  hopes.  We  had  seen  this  day,  how- 
ever, on  the  broken  rocks,  several  locusts,  which  we 
took  to  be  grasshoppers,  and  concluded,  if  we  could 
once  reach  the  surface,  we  should  find  herbage,  at 
least,  to  feed  on.  These  locusts  were  dead,  ond 
crumbled  to  dust  on  the  slightest  touch. 

We  found  now  a  good  place  in  the  sand,  .bout 
one  hundred  feet  from  the  sea.  under  a  high  cliff,  to 
sleep  on ;  here  we  greased  our  mouths  by  eating  a 


small  piece  of  salt  pork,  and  wet  them  as  usual  with 
a  sip  of  urine.  All  hands,  except  myself,  had  a  lit- 
tle fresh  water  left;  my  comrades  knew  I  had  not 
one  drop,  and  two  of  them  offered  to  let  me  taste  of 
theirs,  with  which  I  just  moistened  my  tongue,  and 
after  sending  up  our  prayers  to  heaven  for  mercy 
aild  relief  in  our  forlorn  and  desolate  condition,  we 
laid  ourselves  down  to  sleep. 

I  had,  on  setting  out  from  home,  received  Horace 
Savage  under  my  particular  charge,  from  his  widow- 
ed mother :  his  father,  when  living,  having  been  my 
intimate  friend,  I  promised  her  to  take  care  of  him, 
as  if  he  was  my  own  son,  and  this  promise  I  had  en- 
deavoured to  fulfil.  He  was  now  in  deep  distress, 
and  I  determined  within  myself  that  I  would  adopt 
him  as  my  son,  for  his  mother  was  poor ;  that  I  would 
watch  over  his  ripening  years,  in  case  we  both  lived, 
and  if  fortune  should  favour  me  in  future,  that  he 
should  share  it  in  common  with  my  children.  I  now 
took  him  in  my  arms,  and  we  all  slept  soundly  till 
morning,  though  the  change  was  so  great  in  the 
nioht,  from  extreme  heat  to  a  damp  cold  air,  that  we 
awoke  in  the  morning  (September  9th)  with  benumb- 
ed and  trembling  limbs.  Sleep,  however,  had  re- 
freshed us,  and  though  our  feet  were  torn,  and  our 
frames  nearly  exhausted,  yet  we  chased  away  de- 
spair, and  set  forward  on  our  journey. 

We  soon  discovered,  at  no  great  distance  ahead,  a 
sand  beach  that  appeared  large,  and  from  which  the 
shore  upward  seemed  more  sloping,  as  if  opening  a 
way  to  the  surface  above  it ;  we  also  thought  we 
should  be  able,  in  case  we  could  reach  the  beach,  to 


get  water  that  would  be  drinkable,  by  digging  in  the 
sand,  down  to  a  level  with  the  water  in  the  sea,  and 
letting  it  filter  into  the  hole :  this  I  had  done  on  the 
little  keys  of  the  Bahama  bank,  with  success,  and 
expected  it  would  be  the  same  here; — so  we  made 
our  way  slowly  along,  as  we  had  done  the  day  be- 
fore, until  we  got  within  a  short  distance  of  this, 
beach,  where  we  met  with  a  promontory  of  rocks, 
which  rose  in  height  even  with  the  surface  above 
us ;  jutting  far  into  the  sea,  whose  waves  had  worn 
in  under  its  base  to  the  distance  of  fifty  or  one  hun- 
dred feet,  and  now  dashed  in  a  wild  and  frightful 
manner  against  the  projecting  points,  which  its  wash- 
ings for  ages  had  formed  underneath.  To  climb 
over  this  formidable  obstruction,  was  impossible ;  to 
get  around  it  through  the  water,  appeared  equally 
so,  as  there  was  not  sufficient  time,  by  the  greatest 
exertion,  to  pass  before  the  return  of  the  surf,  which 
would  inevitably  hurl  the  adventurer  into  the  cavi- 
ties under  the  cliff,  among  the  sharp  rocks,  where  he 
must  immediately  perish. 

Thus  far  we  had  all  got  safe;  to  advance  by  what 
appeared  to  be  the  only  possible  way,  seemed  like 
seeking  instant  death  ;  to  remain  in  our  present  situ-. 
ation,  was  merely  to  die  a  lingering  one,  and  to  re- 
turn, was  still  worse,  by  increasing  our  pains,, with- 
out leading  to  any  chance  of  relief  Before  us  vras 
a  prospect  of  getting  water,  and  arriving  at  the  sum- 
mit of  the  land,  if  we  could  only  get  round  the  pro- 
montory alive ;  and  fortunately,  at  this  moment,  we 
observed  a  rock  about  half-way  across  this  point, 
that  had  tumbled  down  from  above,  andJhad  been 


washed  full  of  holes;  it  was  covered  by  every  surf, 
and   its    top    left    bare    as    the    wave    receded.      I 
imagined  I  could  reach  it  before  the  wave  came  in; 
and   after   making  known  my  intentions  to  my  com- 
panions, I  followed  the  surf  out,  and  laid  hold  of  the 
rock,  just  as  the  returning  swell  overwhelmed  me. 
1  clung  to  it  for  my  life,  the  surf  passing  over  me, 
and  spending  its  fury  among  the  crags :  the  instant 
it  retired,  I  hurried  on  to  the  steep  rocks  beyond  the 
point,  where  I  again  held  on,   while   another   surf 
swept  over  me,  and   then  left  me  to  clamber  up  as 
quick  as  I  was  able  on  the  flat  surface  of  the  rock, 
beyond  the  reach  of  the  waves.     The  tide  was  not 
yet  entirely  out,  though  I  had  judged  it  was ;  and  as 
it  continued  to  fall,  my  people  loHowing  the  same 
course,  and  embracing  the  same  means,  all  got  safe 
to  the  first  rock,  and  from  thence  to  the  place  where 
I  lay  prostrate  to  receive  and  assist  them  in  getting 
up.     Though  our  limbs  and  bodies  were  very  much 
bruised  in  this  severe  encounter,  yet  we  felt  some- 
what encouraged,  and  made  for  the  sand  beach  as  fast 
as  we  were  able.     We  soon  reached  it,  and  began 
digging  in  the  sand  for  water,  at  different  distances 
from  the  sea,  but  found  \i     j  be  as  salt  as  the  ocean. 
After  di8:ging  several  bcirss  farther  oif,  and  meeting 
with  dry  rock  instead  of  wl  ter,  I  pitched  upon  a  spot 
for  our  last  effort,  and  while  the  others  were  digging, 
I  told  them  I  would  go  and  see    if  I   could    get   up 
the  bank,  and  if  I  succeeded  that  I  would  return  in 
a  short  time  with  the  news :  the  bank  here  rose  ab- 
ruptly, leaving,  however,  in  sorae  places  sufficient 
slope  for  a  man  to  ascend  it  by  climbing.     Through 


one  of  these  slopes  I  made  my  way  up,  in  the  hope 
of  finding  some  green  thing  that  might  help  to  allay 
our  burnino-  thirst,  and  some  tree  to  shelter  us  from 
the  scorching  blaze  of  the  sun ;  but  what  was  my 
surprise  when  I  came  to  the  spot  so  long  desired,  and 
found  it  to  be  a  barren  plain,  extending  as  far  as  the 
eye  could  reach  each  way,  without  a  tree,  shrub,  or 
spear  of  grass,  that  might  give  the  smallest  relief  to 
expiring  nature  ?  I  had  exerted  myself  to  the  utmost 
to  get  there ;  the  dreary  sight  was  more  than  I  could 
bear ;  my  spirits  fainted  within  me,  and  I  fell  to  the 
earth,  deprived  of  every  sensation.  When  I  recovered, 
it  was  some  time  before  I  could  recollect  where  I 
was:  my  intolerable  thirst  however  at  length  con- 
vinced me,  and  I  was  enabled  to  administer  the  same 
wretched  and  disorustino;  rehef  to  which  I  had  so 
frequently  before  been  compelled  to  resort. 

Despair  now  seized  on  me,  and  I  resolved  to  cast 
myself  into  the  sea  as  soon  as  I  could  reach  it,  and 
put  an  end  to  my  life  and  miseries  together.  But 
when  I  the  next  moment  reflected  that  I  had  left 
ten  of  ray  fellow  creatures  on  the  shore,  who  look- 
ed up  to  me  for  an  example  of  courage  and  fortitude, 
and  for  whom  I  still  felt  myself  bound  to  continue  my 
exertions,  which  might  yet  be  blessed  with  success, 
and  that  at  the  moment  when  I  supposed  the  hand 
of  relief  far  from  me,  it  might  be  very  near;  and 
when  I  next  thought  of  my  wife  and  children,  I  felt 
a  kind  of  conviction  within  me,  that  we  should  not 
all  perish  after  such  signal  deliverances.  I  then  made 
for  the  sea  side  about  a  mile  eastward  of  my  men, 
and   finding  a  good  place  between  some  ron^jSj  I 


bathed  myself  for  half  an  hour  in  the   sea  water, 
which  refreshed  and  revived  me  very  much,  and  then 
returned  to  mj  men  with  a  heart  lighter  than  I  ex- 
pected.   I  was  very  much  fatigued,  and  threw  myself 
down  on  the   sand.     They  huddled  around  me,  to 
know  what  success  I  had  met  with;  but  to  wave  the 
subject  of  my  sad  discovery,  I  told  them  we  could  go 
along  the  beach  for  two  miles  before  meeting  again 
with  the   perpendicular  cliffs,  and  would  find  great 
relief  by  bathing  our  bodies  in  the   salt  water;   in- 
quiring, at  the  same  time,  if  they  had  found  any  fresh 
in  the  last   place  they  had  been  digging.     I  thus  di- 
verted   their   minds,  in    some    measure,   from   the 
object  they  wished  to  inquire   after;  and  as  I  found 
they  had  dug  down  six  or  eight  feet,  and  had  found 
no  water,  having  come  to  a  rock  which  frustrated 
all  their  attempts;  with  heavy  hearts  and  tottering 
limbs  we  staggered  along  the  shore  together. 

It  was  about  mid-day  when  we  got  to  the  end  of 
the  sand  beach ;  my  people  thought  it  would  be  im- 
possible for  them  to  climb  the  craggy  steep ;  so 
with  common  consent  we  laid  ourselves  down  under 
the  shade  formed  by  a  shelving  rock,  to  rest,  and  to 
screen  ourselves  from  the  rays  of  the  sun,  which  had 
heated  the  air  to  such  a  degree,  that  it  was  with  the 
greatest  difficulty  we  could  fetch  our  breath.  There 
was  no  wind  or  air  stirring  at  this  time,  except  the 
hot  steam  rising  from  the  sandy  beach,  which  had 
been  wet  by  the  sea  at  the  last  tide. 

Having  lain  down  in  our  exhausted  state,  neither 
thirst  nor  our  reflections  had  power  to  keep  our  eyes 
open;  we  sunk  into  a  lethargic  sleep,  which  continued 
about  two  hours,  during  which  time  a  light  breeze 


from  the  sea  had  set  in,  and  gently  fanned  and  re- 
freshed our  debilitated  bodies.  We  then  ascended 
the  steep  bank,  crawhng  frequently  on  our  hands 
and  knees.  Though  I  had  previously  prepared  all 
their  minds  for  a  barren  prospect,  yet  the  sight  of 
it,  when  they  reached  its  level,  had  such  an  effect  on 
their  senses,  that  they  sunk  to  the  earth  involuntari- 
ly ;  and  as  they  surveyed  the  dry  and  dreary  waste, 
stretching  out  to  an  immeasurable  extent  before 
them,  they  exclaimed,  "'tis  enough;  here  we  must 
breathe  our  last;  we  have  no  hope  before  us  of  find- 
ing either  water  or  provisions,  or  human  beings,  or 
even  wild  beasts  ;  nothing  can  five  here."  The  httle 
moisture  yet  left  in  us  overflowed  at  our  eyes,  but 
as  the  salt  tears  rolled  down  our  woe-worn  and 
haggard  cheeks,  we  were  fain  to  catch  them  with 
our  fingers  and  carry  them  to  our  mouths,  that  they 
might  not  be  lost,  and  serve  to  moisten  our  tongues, 
that  were  now  nearly  as  dry  as  parched  leather, 
and  so  stiff,  that  with  difficulty  we  could  articu- 
late a  sentence  so  as  to  be  understood  by  each 

I  began  now  to  exhort  and  press  them  to  go 
forward;  telling  them  that  we  still  might  find  relief, 
and  in  this  effort  I  was  assisted  by  Hogan,  who 
thought  with  me  that  it  was  time  enough  to  lie  down 
and  die,  when  we  could  not  walk.  Mr.  Williams  and 
Mr.  Savage  were  also  willing,  and  we  moved  on 
slowly,  with  scarcely  a  hope  however  of  meeting  with 
the  least  relief  We  continued  along  on  the  edge 
of  the  cliffs,  which  could  not  be  less  than  from  five 
to  six  hundred  feet  in   perpendicular   height:  the 


surface  of  the  ground  was  baked  down  almost  as  hard 
as  flint ;  it  was  composed  of  small  ragged  stones, 
gravel,  and  reddish  earth.  We  observed  a  small  dry 
stalk  of  a  plant,  resembling  that  of  a  parsnip,  though 
very  low ;  and  some  dry  remains  of  locusts  were 
also  scattered  on  the  surface  as  we  proceeded.  Near 
night  we  saw  some  small  holes  dug  on  the  surface, 
and  on  examination  found  they  had  been  made  in 
order  to  get  at  the  root  of  the  dry  weed  we  had  just 
before  seen :  this  we  conceived  had  been  done  by 
some  wild  beasts;  but  finding  no  tracks  of  any  kind 
near  them,  nor  on  the  dirt  dug  up,  I  concluded  it 
was  done  by  man,  and  declared  my  hopes  to  my 
desponding  companions  of  soon  meeting  with  human 

We  procured,  after  great  labour  in  digging  with 
sticks  we  had  brought  from  the  boat,  and  the  help 
of  stones,  a  few  small  pieces  of  a  root  as  large  as  a 
man's  finger;  it  was  very  dry,  but  in  taste  resembled 
smellage  or  celery.  We  could  not  get  enough  to 
be  of  any  material  service  to  us,  owing  to  the  scarcity 
of  the  plant,  and  the  hardness  of  the  ground;  but 
about  sunset  we  discovered,  on  a  small  spot  of  sand, 
the  imperfect  track  of  a  camel,  and  thought  we  saw 
that  of  a  man,  which  we  took  to  be  a  very  old 

Believing  from  our  present  feelings  that  we  could 
not  possibly  survive  a  day  longer  without  drink,  and 
no  signs  of  finding  any  appearing,  the  last  ray  of 
hope  faded  away,  and  the  gloom  of  despair,  which 
had  at  length  settled  on  our  hearts,  now  became 
visible  in  every  countenance.     A  little   after  sunset 


we  saw  at  a  considerable  distance  in  advance,  say 
three  or  four  miles,  another  sand  beach,  and  I  urged 
mjself  forward  towards  it  as  fast  as  I  could,  in  hopes 
of  getting  some  rest  by  sleeping  on  the  sand  for  the 
night,  as  the  ground  we  were  now  on  was  as  hard 
as  rock,  and  covered  with  small  sharp  stones.  I  was 
encouraging  the  men  to  follow  on,  when  Clark, 
being  near  me,  begged  me  to  look  towards  the 
beach,  saying,  "  I  think  I  see  a  light !"  it  was  the 
light  of  a  fire  ! 

Joy  thrilled  through  my  veins  like  the  electric 
spark ;  hope  again  revived  within  me,  and  while  I 
showed  it  to  my  sinking  and  despairing  crew,  I  found 
it  communicated  to  them  the  same  feelings.  I  told 
them  we  must  approach  the  natives,  who  I  could  not 
doubt  were  encamped  for  the  night,  with  the  great- 
est caution,  for  fear  of  alarming:  them,  and  falling  a 
sacrifice  to  their  fury  in  the  confusion  we  might 
occasion  by  our  sudden  approach  in  the  dark.  New 
life  and  spirits  were  diifused  into  all  the  crew,  and 
we  soon  reached  a  broken  place  in  the  bank,  through 
which  we  descended  carefully  over  the  broken  rocks 
from  three  to  four  hundred  feet  to  a  sandy  spot  near 
its  base,  where  we  laid  ourselves  down  for  the  night, 
after  imploring  the  protection  of  Almighty  God,  and 
wetting  our  mouths  with  a  few  drops  of  water  still 
remaining  in  the  bottles. 

The  sand  on  which  we  lay  was  heated  by  the  sun's 
rays  sufficiently  to  have  roasted  eggs,  and  as  we  were 
on  the  side  of  a  sand  hill,  we  scraped  off  the  top  of 
it  for  a  foot  or  two  deep  ;  when  finding  the  heat  more 
supportable,  and  the  cool  breeze  of  the  night  setting 


in,  all  hands  being  excessively  fatigued,  soon  forgot; 
their  sufferings  in  the  arms  of  sleep,  excepting  myself; 
for  my  mind  had  become  so  excited  by  alternate 
hopes,  and  fears,  and  reflections,  that  I  was  kept 
awake  through  the  whole  of  this  long  and  dismal 
night.  I  had  determined,  as  soon  as  daylight  ap- 
peared, to  show  ourselves  to  the  natives,  and  submit 
either  to  death  or  life  from  their  hands.  I  had  no 
doubt  of  their  being  Arabs,  who  would  take  and  hold 
us  as  slaves,  and  though  I  did  not  expect  myself  to  live 
but  a  short  time  in  that  condition,  I  presumed  some  of 
my  fellow  sufferers  might,  and  that  it  was  a  decree  of 
Providence  which  had  set  this  alternative  before  us. 

I  no  longer  felt  any  fear  of  death,  for  that  would 
put  a  period  to  my  long  sufferings:  my  thirst  had 
become  so  Insupportable,  that  I  could  with  difficulty 
breathe,  and  thought  I  would  be  willing  to  sell  my 
life  for  one  gill  of  fresh  water.  My  distresses  had 
been  so  excessive,  and  my  cares  and  anxieties  for 
my  shipmates  so  great,  that  all  thoughts  of  my  fami- 
ly had  been  driven  almost  entirely  from  ray  mind. 
I  could  not  sleep— why  was  I  denied  what  all  around 
me  were  enjoying ! — I  shut  my  eyes,  and  prayed  to 
be  permitted  to  sleep,  if  (j)nly  for  one  hour,  but  all  in 
vain.  I  imagined  that  the  savages,  who  were  near 
us,  would  not  take  our  lives  immediately,  as  it  was 
contrary  to  the  nature  of  man  to  slay  his  fellow- 
creatures,  merely  from  a  thirst  for  blood. 

We  had  now  no  arms  to  defend  ourselves,  nor  any 
property  to  excite  their  jealousy,  revenge,  or  ava- 
rice— we  were  as  miserable  as  human  beings  could 
be,  and  I  hoped  we  should  excite  pity,  even  in  the 


breasts  of  the  savage  Arabs.  I  could  hardly  yet 
think,  that  we  were  to  fall  a  sacrifice  to  these  peo- 
ple, after  the  providential  escapes  we  had  already 
experienced  :  next  the  remembrance  of  my  wife  and 
children  flitted  across  my  mind,  and  I  was  forced  to 
acknowledge,  that  however  bad  their  situation  might 
be,  their  real  distress  could  in  no  wise  equal  mine, 
and  that  I  had  no  right  to  repine  at  the  dispensations 
of  Providence,  since  every  mortal  has  his  circle 
wisely  marked  out  by  heaven;  and  nothing  but 
blindness  to  the  future,  occasions  us  to  complain  of 
the  ways  of  our  Creator.  If  it  was  the  will  of  the 
Supreme  Being  that  I  should  again  see  and  embrace 
my  beloved  family,  it  would  certainly  take  place;  if 
not,  that  power  who  ordered  all  things  for  the  gene- 
ral good,  would  not  forsake  them. 

Thus  passed  away  the  night,  which  had  seemed  to 
me  an  endless  one.  I  was  impatient  to  know  my  fate, 
and  chid  the  slowness  of  the  sun :  ray  great  anxiety 
and  wakefulness,  rendered  my  thirst  doubly  painful, 
and  having  expended  all  the  urine  I  had  so  carefully 
saved,  I  had  recourse  before  morning  to  robbery, 
and  actually  stole  a  sip  of  the  cook's  water,  which 
he  had  made  and  saved  in  a  bottle ;  but  the  only 
taste  it  had  lor  me,  was  a  salt  one,  and  it  seemed  (if 
possible)  to  increase  my  burning  thirst.  The  day 
at  last  arrived  that  was  to  decide  our  fate.  It  was 
the  10th  of  September.  I  awakened  my  companions, 
and  told  them  we  must  now  go  forward  and  show 
ourselves  to  the  natives — that  I  expected  they  would 
seize  upon  us  as  slaves,  but  had  strong  hopes  that 
some  of  us  would  escape  with  our  lives.     I  also  men- 

64  -  CAPTALV  Riley's  narrativji:* 

tioned  to  tliein  the  name  of  the  American  Consul 
General  at  Tangier,  and  that  if  it  ever  was  in  their 
power,  they  must  write  to  him,  inform  him  of  the 
fate  of  our  vessel  and  her  crew :  to  write,  if  possi- 
ble, to  any  Christian  merchant  in  Magadore,  Gibral- 
tar, or  elsewhere,  or  to  the  Consul  at  Algiers,  Tunis, 
or  Tripoli,  if  they  should  hear  those  places  mention- 
ed, and  exhorted  all  to  submit  to  their  fate  like  men, 
and  be  obedient,  as  policy  required,  to  their  future 
masters.  I  reminded  them  again  of  the  former  in- 
terpositions of  Providence  in  our  favour,  and  said 
all  I  could  to  encourage  and  persuade  them,  that 
mildness  and  submission  might  save  our  lives — that 
resistance  and  stubbornness  would  certainly  tend  to 
make  them  more  miserable  while  alive,  and  proba- 
bly prompt  the  natives  to  murder  them  out  of  re- 

All  agreed  to  go  forward,  and  on  rising  the  little 
sand  hills  near  us,  we  discovered  a  very  large  drove 
of  camels  at  about  half  a  mile  to  the  eastward  of 
us,  with  a  large  company  of  people,  in  a  kind  of 
valley  formed  by  a  ridge  of  sand  hills  on  the  north 
next  the  sea,  and  by  the  high  land  to  the  south, 
rising  from  five  to  six  hundred  feet  in  upright  and 
overhan2:Inor  cliffs — throuo-h  w'hich  a  little  farther  on 
we  saw  a  deep  hollow  that  appeared  to  have  been 
formed  by  some  convulsive  shoe..;  >f  the  eart!),  which 
had  thus  made  a  sort  of  passage,  through  which 
camels  were  enabled  to  pass  up  and  down,  but  with 
great  difliculty.  The  Arabs  seemed  busied  in  giving 
water  to  their  camels;  they  saw  us,  and  in  an  instant 
one  man  and  two  women  ran  towards  us  with  great 


speed.  As  they  came  forward,  many  others  of  them 
who  saw  us,  also  began  to  advance :  so  taking  Mr. 
Williams  and  Mr.  Savage  with  me,  I  went  forward 
to  meet  them,  bowed  myself  to  the  ground  before 
them,  and  with  signs  implored  their  compassion. 

The  man  was  armed  with  a  scimitar,  which  he  held 
naked  in  his  hand ;  he  ran  up  to  me  as  if  to  cut  me 
to  the  earth :  I  bowed  again  in  token  of  submission, 
and  he  began  without  further  ceremony  to  strip  oif 
my  clothing,  while  the  women  were  doing  the  same 
to  Mr.  Williams  and  Mr.  Savage.  Thirty  or  forty 
more  were  arriving — some  running  on  foot,  with 
muskets  or  naked  scimitars  in  their  hands;  others 
riding  on  swift  camels,  came  quickly  up : — by  the 
time  they  arrived,  however,  we  were  all  stripped 
naked  to  the  skin.  Those  Arabs  near  us  threw  up 
sand  into  the  air,  as  the  others  approached ;  yelling 
loudly,  which  I  now  learned  was  a  sign  of  hostihty. 
The  one  who  strlpt  me  had  also  taken  the  cook,  and 
had  put  all  the  clothing  he  had  stript  from  us  into  a 
blanket,  which  he  had  taken  from  off  his  own  back 
for  that  purpose,  leaving  himself  entirely  naked. 
This  bundle  he  laid  on  the  negro's  shoulders,  making 
me  understand  that  myself  and  the  black  man  be- 
longed to  him,  and  that  we  must  not  let  the  others 
take  the  clothes  in  the  bundle  under  pain  of  death. 

As  soon  as  those  on  the  camels  w^ere  near,  they 
made  them  lie  down,  and  jumping  off,  ran  to  us  with 
their  scimitars  naked  and  ready  for  action ;  those  on 
foot  now  joined  these,  and  a  great  noise  and  scuffle 
ensued.  Six  or  eight  of  them  were  about  me,  one 
hauling  me  one  Avay  and  one   another — ^poor  Dick, 


66  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

the  black  man,  partook  of  the  hauling,  and  eacb- 
man  seemed  to  insist  most  strenuously  that  we  be- 
longed of  right  to  him.  The  one  who  stript  us- 
stuck  to  us  as  his  lawful  property,  signifying,  "  you 
may  have  the  others,  these  are  mine,"  They  cut 
at  each  other  over  my  head,  and  on  every  side  of  me 
with  their  bright  weapons,  which  fairly  whizzed 
through  the  air  within  an  inch  of  my  naked  body, 
and  on  every  side  of  me,  now  hacking  each  other's 
arms  apparently  to  the  bone,  then  laying  their  ribs 
bare  with  gashes,  while  their  heads,  hands,  and 
thighs,  received  a  full  share  of  cuts  and  wounds- 
The  blood  streaming  from  every  gash,  ran  down  their 
bodies,  colouring  and  heightening  the  natural  hide- 
ousness  of  their  appearance.  I  had  expected  to  be 
cut  to  pieces  in  this  dreadful  affray,  but  was  not 

Those  who  were  not  actually  engaged  in  combat, 

seized  the  occasion,  and  snatched  away  the  clothing 

in  Dick's  bundle,  so   that  when  the  fight  was  over, 

he  had  nothing  left  but  his  master's  blanket.     This 

battle  and  contest  lasted  for  nearly  an  hour — brother 

cutting  brother,  friend  slashing  friend.     Happily  for 

them,  their  scimitars  were  not  very  sharp,  so  that 

when  they  rubbed  off  the  dried  blood  from  their 

bodies  afterwards  with  sand,  their  wounds  were  not 

so  great  or  deep  as  I  expected  they  would  be,  and 

they  did  not  pay  the  least  apparent  attention  to  them. 

I  had  no  time  to  see  what  they  were  doing  with  my 

shipmates ;  only  myself  and  the  cook  were  near  each 



The  battle  over,  I  saw  my  distressed  companions 
divided  among  the  Arabs,  and  all  going  towards  the 
drove  of  camels,  though  they  were  at  some  distance 
from  me.     We  too  were  delivered  into  the  hands  of 
two  old  women,  who  m'ged  us  on  with  sticks  towards 
the  camels.     Naked   and  barefoot  I  could   not  go 
very  fast,  and  showed  the  women  my  mouth,  which 
was  parched  white  as  frost,  and  without   a  sign  of 
moisture.     When  we  got  near  the  well,  one  of  the 
women  called  for  another,  who  came  to  us  with  a 
wooden   bowl,    that  held,  I  should  guess,    about  a 
gallon  of  water,  and  setting  it  on  the  ground,  made 
myself  and  Dick  kneel   down   and  put  our  heads 
into  it  like  camels.     I  drank  I  suppose  half  a  gallon, 
though  I  had  been  very  particular  in  cautioning  the 
men  against  drinking  too  much  at  a  time,  in  case  they 
ever  came  to  water.    I  now  experienced  how  much 
easier   it  was   to  preach   than  to   practise   aright. 
They  then  led  us  to  the  well,  the  water  of   which 
was  nearly  as  black    and  disgusting   as  stale  bilge 
water.     A  large  bowl  was  now  filled  with  it,   and  a 
little  sour  camel's  milk  poured  from  a  goat  skin  into 
it ;  this  tasted  to  me  delicious,  and  we  all  drank  of  it 
till  our  stomachs  were  hterally  filled.  But  this  intem- 
perance very    soon   produced  a  violent  diarrhoea; 
the  consequences  of  which,  however,  were  not  very 
troublesome,  and  as  our  situation  was  similar  to  that 
of  a  beast,  being  totally  divested  of  clothing,  all  we 
cared  about  was  to  slake  our  unabating  thirst,  and 
replenish  our  stomachs  by  repeated  draughts  of  this 
^ashy  and  unwholesome  swill. 

68  .    CAPTAIN    RILEY's    NARRATIVE. 

We  now  begged  for  something  to  eat,  but  these 
Arabs  liad  nothing  for  themselves,  and  seemed  very 
sorry  it  was  not  in  their  power  to  2;ive  us  some  food* 
There  were  at  and  about  the  well  I  should  reckon 
about  one  hundred  persons,  men,  women,  and  child- 
ren, and  from  four  to  five  hundred  camels,  large  and 
small.  The  sun  beat  very  fiercely  upon  us,  and  our 
skins  seemed  actually  to  fry  like  meat  before  the  fire. 
These  people  continued  to  draw  water  for  their 
camels,  of  which  the  animals  drank  enormous  quan- 
tities. It  was  about  10  o'clock  A.  M.  as  I  judged 
by  the  sun,  when  one  company  of  the  Arabs  having 
finished  watering,  separated  their  camels  from  among 
tlie  others,  took  Mr.  Williams,  Robbins,  Porter, 
Hogan,  Barrett,  and  Burns,  mounted  them  on  the 
bare  backs  of  the  camels  behind  the  hump,  by  the 
hair  of  which  they  were  obliged  to  steady  them- 
selves and  hold  on,  without  knowing  whither  they 
were  iroincf,  or  if  I  should  ever  see  them  ag-ain.  i 
took  an  aifectionate  leave  of  them.  This  their 
Arab  masters  permitted  me  to  do  without  interrup- 
tion, and  could  not  help  showing,  at  this  scene,  that 
the  feelings  of  humanity  were  not  totally  extinguished 
in  their  bosoms.  They  then  hurried  them  oif  and 
ascending  through  the  hollow  or  crevice  towards  the 
face  of  the  desart,  they  were   all  soon  out  of  sight. 

There  remained  with  the  party  to  which  I  belonged, 
Mr.  Savage,  Clark,  Horace,  and  Dick  the  cook.  Mr. 
Savage  was  permitted  to  retain  an  old  Guernsey 
frock,  and  part  of  a  pair  of  trowsers  about  his 
middle,  which  they  had  not  pulled  off:  but  the  rest 
of  us  were  entirely  stripped.     Mr.   Savage,  Clark, 


and  Horace  were  forced  to  assist  in  drawing  water 
for  the  camels,  until  all  had  drunk  their  fill :  then 
havinof  filled  with  water  a  considerable  number  of 
goat  skins,  which  had  been  stripped  off  these  animals 
over  the  neck,  leaving  them,  otherwise,  as  whole 
as  when  on  their  backs,  they  slung  them  by  the  skin 
of  their  legs  on  each  side  of  the  camels,  after  tying 
up  the  neck  to  prevent  the  water  escaping,  by  means 
of  a  small  rope  which  they  fastened  to  the  fore  legs 
'of  the  skin  to  keep  it  up.  They  next  put  on  their 
baskets  for  the  women  and  children  to  ride  in;  these 
were  made  of  camel's  skin,  and  fixed  in  such  a  man- 
ner vv^ith  a  wooden  rim  around  them,  over  which  the 
skin  was  sewed,  that  three  or  four  could  sit  in  them 
with  perfect  safety  and  ease,  only  taking  care  to 
preserve  their  balance.  These  baskets  were  fast- 
ened under  the  camels'  bellies  with  a  strong  rope.  I 
was  obliged  to  assist  in  putting  them  on,  and  was 
in  hopes  of  being  permitted  to  ride  in  one  of  them, 
but  that  was  not  the  intention  of  my  master.  I,  as 
well  as  those  who  were  with  me,  had  drunk  a  great 
deal  of  water,  while  we  were  at  the  well,  which 
had  passed  off,  as  before  observed,  without  doing  us 
any  injury.  We  had  been  furnished  also  with  a  lit- 
tle milk  in  our  water  two  or  three  times,  which  gave 
some  relief  to  our  hunger.  The  men  had  saddles 
just  large  enough  for  their  seat :  the  pads  are  made  of 
flat  pieces  of  wood  :  a  piece  of  the  same  rises  in  front, 
being  about  the  length,  breadth,  and  thickness  of  a 
man's  hand;  an  iron  rim,  or  a  strong  wooden  one,  goes 
round  on  each  side,  forming  a  circle  ;  covered  with  a 
piece  of  skin  stretched  and  sewed  taut  over  it. 
The  saddle  is  then  placed  on  the  camel's  back  before 


the  hump,and  fastened  tight  by  a  rope  under  his  bellj. 
Thus  prepared  we  began  to  mount  the  sand  hills  and 
to  get  up  through  the  gulley.  We  were  forced  to 
walk  and  to  drive  the  camels  and  keep  them  together, 
whilst  the  sand  was  so  soft  and  yielding,  that  we  sunk 
into  it  every  step  nearly  to  our  knees.  The  blazing 
heat  of  the  sun's  rays  darting  on  our  naked  bodies, 
and  reflected  from  the  sand  we  waded  through  ;  the 
sharp  pointed  craggy  rocks  and  stones  that  cut  our 
feet  and  legs  to  the  bone,  in  addition  to  our  excessive 
weakness  which  the  dysentery  had  increased,  render- 
ed our  passage  up  through  this  chasm  or  hollow  much 
more  severe  than  any  thing  of  the  kind  we  had 
before  undergone,  and  nearly  deprived  us  of  life. 
For  my  own  part  I  thought  I  must  have  died  before 
I  could  reach  the  summit,  and  was  obliged  to  stop  in 
the  sand,  until  by  an  appHcation  of  a  stick  to  my 
sore  back  by  our  drivers,  I  was  forced  up  to  its  level ; 
and  there  they  made  the  camels  lie  down  and 



77tc  author  and  his  crew  are  carried  on  camels  into  the 
interior  of  the  Desart  of  Zahahrah — the  Arabs 
hold  a  council — the  crew  are  sold  and  distributed — 
the  author'' s  remarkable  dream — the  skin  andfesh  are 
literally  roasted  off  from  his  body  and  from  the  bones 
of  his  companions — their  dreadful  sufferings  while 
naked  and  wandering  about  the  desart  with  their 
masters^  subsisting  only  on  a  little  cameVs  7mlk — two 
Arab  traders  arrive. 

The  Arabs  had  been  much  amused  in  observing 
our  difficulty  in  ascending  the  height,  and  kept  up  a 
laugh  while  they  were  whipping  us  forward.  Their 
women  and  children  were  on  foot  as  well  as 
themselves,  and  went  up  without  the  smallest 
difficulty  or  inconvenience,  though  it  was  extremely 
hard  for  the  camels  to  mount ;  and  before  they  got 
to  the  top  they  were  covered  with  sweat  and  frotL 
Having  now  selected  five  camels  for  the  purpose,  one 
for  each  of  us,  they  put  us  on  behind  the  humps,  to 
which  we  were  obliged  to  cling  by  grasping  its  long 
hair  with  both  hands.  The  back  bone  of  the  one  I  was 
set  on  was  only  covered  with  skin,  and  as  sharp 
as  the  edge  of  an  oar's  blade ;  his  belly,  distended 
with  water,  made  him  perfectly  smooth,  leaving 
no  projection  of  the  hips  to  keep  me  from  sliding 
off  behind,  and  his  back  or  rump  being  as  steep  as 
the  roof  of  a  house,  and  so  broad  across  as  to  keep 
my  legs  extended  to  their  utmost  stretch.  I  was  in 


this  manner  slipping  down  to  his  tail  every  moment. 
I  was  forced  however  to  keep  on,  while  the  camel^ 
rendered  extremely  restive  at  the  sight  of  his  strange 
rider,  was  all  the  time  running  about  among  the 
drove,  and  making  a  most  woful  bellowing,  and  as 
they  have  neither  bridle,  halter,  or  any  other  thing 
whereby  to  guide  or  govern  them,  all  I  had  to  do 
was  to  stick  on  as  w^ell  as  I  could. 

The  Arabs,  both  men  and  women,  were  very 
anxious  to  know  where  we  had  been  thrown  on 
shore,  whether  to  the  eastward  or  westward ; 
and  being  satisfied  by  me  on  that  point,  so  soon  as 
they  had  placed  us  on  the  camels,  and  given  the 
w^omen  directions  how  to  steer,  they  mounted  each 
his  camel,  seated  themselves  on  the  small  round 
saddle,  and  then  crossing  their  legs  on  the  animal's 
shoulders,  set  off  to  the  westward  at  a  great  trot, 
leaving  us  under  the  care  of  the  women,  some  of 
whom  were  on  foot,  and  urged  the  camels  forward 
as  fast  as  they  could  run.  The  heavy  motions  of  the 
camel,  not  unlike  that  of  a  small  vessel  in  a  heavy 
head-beat  sea,  were  so  violent,  aided  by  "the  sharp 
back  bone,  as  soon  to  excoriate  certain  parts  of  my 
naked  body ;  the  inside  of  my  thighs  and  legs 
were  also  dreadfully  chafed,  so.  .that  the  blood 
dripped  from  my  heels,  while  the  intense  heat  of  the 
sun  had  scorched  and  blistered  our  bodies  and  the 
outside  of  our  legs,  so  that  we  were  covered/with 
sores,  and  without  any  thing  to  administer  relief  Thus 
bleeding  and  smarting  under  the  most  excruciating 
pain,  we  continued  to  advance  in  a  S.  E.  direction 
on  a  plain  flat  hard  surface  of  sand,  gravel,  and  rock, 
covered  with  small  sharp  stones.     It  seemed  as  if 


our  bones  would  be  dislocated  at  every  step.  Hun- 
gry and  thirsty,  the  night  came  on,  and  no  indication 
of  stopping ;  the  cold  night  wind  began  to  blow, 
chilling  our  blood,  which  ceased  to  trickle  down  our 
lacerated  legs ;  but  although  it  saved  our  blood,  yet 
acting  on  our  blistered  skins,  it  increased  our  pains  be- 
yond description.  We  begged  to  be  permitted  to  get 
off,  but  the  women  paid  no  attention  to  our  distress  nor 
entreaties,  intent  only  on  getting  forward.  We 
designedly  slipped  off  the  camels  when  going  at  a 
full  trot,  risking  to  break  our  necks  by  the  fall,  and 
tried  to  excite  their  compassion  and  get  a  drink  of 
water,  (which  they  call  sherub)  but  they  paid  no  at- 
tention to  our  prayers,and  kept  the  camels  running  fas- 
ter than  before. 

This  was  the  first  time  I  had  attempted  to  walk 
barefooted  since  I  was  a  schoolboy :  we  were  obliged 
to  keep  up  with  the  camels,  running  over  the  stones, 
which  were  nearly  as  sharp  as  gun  flints,  and  cutting 
our  feet  to  the  bone  at  every  step.  It  was  here  that 
my  fortitude  and  philosophy  failed  to  support  me ; 
I  cursed  my  fate  aloud,  and  wished  I  had  rushed  into 
the  sea  before  I  gave  myself  up  to  these  merciless 
bein2:s  in  human  forms — it  was  now  too  late.  I  would 
have  put  an  immediate  end  to  my  existence,  but  had 
neither  knife  nor  any  other  weapon  with  which  to 
perform  the  deed.  I  searched  for  a  stone,  intending 
if  I  could  find  a  loose  one  sufficiently  large,  to  knock 
out  my  own  brains  with  it;  but  searched  in  vain. 
This  paroxysm  passed  off  in  a  minute  or  two,  when 
reason  returned,  and  I  recollected  that  my  life  was  in 
the  hand  of  the  power  that  gave  it,  and  that  "  the 



Judge  of  all  the  earth  would  do  right."  Then  run- 
ing  with  all  my  remaining  might,  I  soon  came  up  with 
the  camels,  regardless  of  my  feet  and  of  pain,  and 
felt  perfectly  resigned  and  willing  to  submit  to 
the  will  of  Providence  and  the  fate  that  awaited 

From  that  time  forward,  through  all  my  succeeding 
trials  and  sufferings,  I  never  once  murmured  in  my 
heart,  but  at  all  times  kept  my  spirits  up,  doing  the 
utmost  to  obey  and  please  those  whom  fortune,  fate, 
or  an  overruling  Providence  had  placed  over  me,and  to 
persuade,  both  by  precept  and  practice,  my  unhappy 
comrades  to  do  the  same.  I  had,  with  my  compa- 
nions, cried  aloud  with  pain,  and  begged  our  savage 
drivers  for  mercy,  and  when  we  had  ceased  to  make 
a  noise,  fearing,  as  it  were,  to  lose  us  in  the  dark,  they 
stopped  the  camels,  and  again  placing  us  on  them  as 
before,  drove  them  on  at  full  speed  until  about  mid- 
night, when  we  entered  a  small  dell  or  valley,  excava= 
ted  by  the  hand  of  nature,  a  little  below  the  surface 
of  the  desart,  about  from  fifteen  to  twenty  feet  deep. 
Here  they  stopped  the  camels,  and  made  them  lie 
down,  bidding  us  to  do  the  same.  I  judge  we  must 
have  travelled  forty  miles  this  day  to  the  S.  E. : 
the  place  was  hard  and  rocky,  not  even  sand  to  lie 
on,  nor  any  covering  to  shelter  us  or  keep  off  the 
cold  damp  wind  that  blew  strong  from  the  sea. 

They  soon  set  about  milking,  and  then  gave  us 
each  about  a  pint  of  pure  milk,  warm  from  the  camels, 
taking  great  care  to  divide  it  for  us  ;  it  warmed  our 
stomachs,  quenched  our  thirst  in  some  measure,  and 
allayed  in   a  small  degree  the  cravings  of  hunger. 


Mr.  Savage  had  been  separated  from  us,  and  I  learn- 
ed from  hira  afterwards  that  he  fared  better  than 
we  did,  having  had  a  larger  allowance  of  milk. 
Clark,  Horace,  and  Dick  the  cook  were  still  with  me. 
We  lay  down  on  the  ground  as  close  to  each  other 
as  we  could,  on  the  sharp  stones,  without  any  lee  to 
fend  off  the  wind  from  us ;  our  bodies  all  over  blis- 
tered and  mangled,  the  stones  piercing  through  the 
sore  naked  flesh  to  the  ribs  and  other  bones.  These 
distresses,  and  our  sad  and  desponding  reflections, 
rendered  this  one  of  the  longest  and  most  dismal  nights 
ever  passed  by  any  human  beings.  We  kept  shifting 
births,  striving  to  keep  ofl*  some  of  the  cold  during 
the  night,  while  sleep,  that  had  hitherto  relieved  our 
distresses  and  fatigues,  fled  from  us  in  spite  of  all  our 
efforts  and  solicitude  to  embrace  it ;  nor  Avere  we 
able  to  close  our  eyes. 

The  morning  of  the  11th  came  on  at  last,  and 
our  industrious  mistresses  having  milked  a  little  from 
the  camels,  and  allowed  the  young  ones  to  suck, 
gave  us  about  half  a  pint  of  milk  among  four  of  us, 
being  just  enough  to  wet  our  mouths,  and  then  made 
us  go  forward  on  foot  and  drive  the  camels.  The 
situation  of  our  feet  was  horrible  beyond  description,, 
and  the  very  recollection  of  it,  even  at  this  moment, 
makes  my  nerves  thrill  and  quiver.  We  proceeded 
forward,  having  gained  the  level  desart  for  a  eon- 
siderable  time,  when  entering  a  small  valley,  we  dis- 
covered three  or  four  tents  made  of  coarse  cloth 
near  which  we  were  met  by  our  masters  and  a 
number  of  men  whom  we  had  not  before  seen,  all 
armed    with  either  a  double  barrelled   musket,  a 


scimitar,  or  dagger.  They  were  all  of  the  same 
nation  and  tribe,  for  they  shook  hands  at  meeting, 
and  seemed  very  friendly  to  each  other,  though 
they  stopped  and  examined  us,  as  if  disposed  to  ques- 
tion the  right  of  property. 

It  now  appeared  there  was  still  some  difficulty 
in  deciding  to  whom  each  one  of  us  belonged  ;  for 
seizing  hold  of  us,  some  dragged  one  way  and  some 
another,  disputing  very  loudly  and  frequently  drawing 
their  weapons.  It  was  however  decided  at  last, 
after  making  us  go  different  ways  for  the  space  of 
two  or  three  hours  with  different  men,  that  myself 
and  the  cook  should  remain,  for  the  present,  in  the 
hands  of  our  first  master.  They  gave  Clark  to  another, 
and  Horace  to  a  third.  We  had  come  near  a  couple  of 
tents,  and  were  certainly  disgusting  objects,  being  na- 
ked and  almost  skinless;  this  was  sometime  about  noon, 
when  three  women  came  out  who  had  not  before 
seen  us,  and  having  satisfied  their  curiosity  by  gazing 
at  us,  they  expressed  their  disgust  and  contempt  by 
spitting  at  us  as  we  went  along,  making  their  faces 
still  more  horrid  by  every  possible  contortion  of 
their  frightful  features ;  this  we  afterwards  found 
to  be  their  constant  practice  wherever  we  went 
until  after  we  got  off  the  desart. 

Towards  evening  a  great  number  of  the  men 
"having  collected  in  a  little  valley,  we  were  made  to 
stop,  and  as  our  bodies  were  blistered  and  burnt  to 
such  a  degree  as  to  excite  pity  in  the  breasts  of  some 
of  the  men,  they  used  means  to  h&ve  a  tent  cleared 
out  for  us  to  sit  under.  They  then  allowed  all  those 
of  our  crew  present  to  sit  under  it ;  but  Porter  and 

SUFFERIN£3S    IN    AFRICA.  t?; 

Burns  had  been  separated  from  me  shortly  after 
our  capture,  and,  as  may  well  be  supposed,  we  were 
o-lad  to  meet  one  another  a^ain,  miserable  as  we  all 
were.  A  council  was  now  held  by  the  natives  near 
the  tent;  they  were  about  one  hundred  and  fifty 
men,  some  very  old,  some  middle  aged,  and  some  quite 
young.  I  soon  found  they  were  Mohamedans,  and 
the  proper  names  by  which  they  frequently  called 
each  other  were  jyiohamed,  Hamef,  Seid,  SideuUak, 
jlbdallah^  &ic.  so  that  by  these  and  the  female  names 
Faiima,  Ezimah,  Sarah,  &;c.  I  knew  them  to  be  Arabs 
or  Moors. 

The  council  were  deliberating  about  us;  and  having 
talked  the  matter  over  a  long  time,  seated  on  the 
ground,  with  their  lesTS  crossed  under  them  in  circles  of 
from  ten  to  twenty  each,  they  afterwards  arose  and 
came  to  us.  One  of  the  old  men  then  addressed  me  ; 
he  seemed  to  be  very  intelligent,  and  though  he  spoke 
a  language  I  was  unacquainted  with,  yet  he  ex- 
plained himself  in  such  a  plain  and  distinct  manner, 
sounding  every  letter  full  like  the  Spaniards,  that 
with  the  help  of  signs  I  was  able  to  understand  his 
meaning.  He  wanted  to  know  what  country  we 
belonged  to  ;  I  told  him  we  were  English  ;  and  as 
I  perceived  the  Spanish  language  was  in  sound 
more  like  that  which  they  spoke  than  any  other  I 
knew,  I  used  the  phrase  Inglesis ;  this  seemed  to 
please  him,  and  he  said  "  O  Fransah,  O  Spaniah  ;" 
meaning  "  or  Frenchmen  or  Spaniards ;"  I  repeated 
we  were  English.  He  next  wanted  to  know  which 
point  of  the  horizon  we  came  from,  and  I  pointed 
to  the  North. 


Thej  had  seen  our  boat,  which  thej  called  Zooerga^ 
and  wanted  to  know  if"  we  had  come  all  the  way  in  that 
boat :  I  told  them  no,  and  making  a  kind  of  coast, 
by  heaping  up  sand,  and  forming  the  shape  of  a 
vessel,  into  which  I  struck  sticks  for  masts  and  bow- 
sprit, &c.  I  gave  him  to  understand  that  we  had  been 
in  a  large  vessel,  and  wrecked  on  the  coast  by  a 
strong  wind ;  then  by  tearing  down  the  mast  and  cov- 
ering up  the  vessel's  form  with  sand,  I  signified  to  him 
that  she  was  totally  lost.  Thirty  or  forty  of  the  other 
Arabs  were  sitting  around  us,  paying  the  strictest  atten- 
tion  to  every  one  of  my  words  and  gestures,  and  assist- 
ing the  old  man  to  comprehend  me.  He  wished  to 
know  where  we  were  going,  and  what  cargo  the 
vessel  (which  I  now  found  they  called  Sfenah)  had 
on  board.  I  satisfied  them  in  the  best  way  I  could,  on 
this  point,  telling  them  that  I  had  on  board,  among 
other  things,  dollars:  they  wanted  to  know  how  many, 
and  gave  me  a  bowl  to  imitate  the  measure  of  them;  this 
I  did  by  filling  it  with  stones  and  emptying  it  three 
times.  They  were  much  surprised  at  the  quantity, 
and  seemed  to  be  dissatisfied  that  they  had  not  got  a 
share  of  them.  Tliey  then  wanted  to  know  which 
way  the  vessel  lay  from  us,  and  if  we  had  seen  any 
of  the  natives,  whom  they  called  Moslemin. 

This  I  took  to  be  what  we  call  Mussulmen,  or 
followers  of  the  Mahommedan  doctrine,  and  in  this 
I  was  not  mistaken.  I  then  explained  to  them  in  what 
manner  we  had  been  treated  by  the  inhabitants ;  that 
they  had  got  all  our  clothing,  except  what  we  had  on 
when  they  found  us ;  all  our  money  and  provisions ; 
massacred  one  of  our  number,  and  drove  us  out  to 


sea.  They  then  told  me  that  they  heard  of  the  ship- 
wreck of  a  vessel  a  great  way  North,  and  of  the  money, 
^c.  but  that  tiie  crew  were  drowned  in  iheelJil Bakar ; 
this  was  so  near  the  Spanish  (La  Mar)  for  the  sea, 
that  I  could  not  misunderstand  it.  Thus  having 
obtained  what  information  they  wanted  on  those 
points,  they  next  desired  to  know  if  I  knew  any 
thing  about  Marochsh  ;  this  sounded  something  like 
Morocco  :  I  answered  yes ;  next  of  the  Sooltaan  (the 
Sultan)  to  which  instead  of  saying  yes,  T  made  signs 
of  assent,  for  I  found  they  did  no  more  themselves, 
except  by  a  cluck  with  the  tongue. 

They  wanted  me  to  tell  his  name,  Soo  Mook^  but 
I  could  not  understand  them  until  they  mentioned 
Moolay  Solimaan  ;  this  I  remembered  to  be  the  name 
of  the  present  emperor  of  Morocco,  as  pronounced 
in  Spanish,  nearly.  I  gave  them  to  understand  that  I 
knew  him  ;  had  seen  him  with  my  eyes,  and  that  he 
was  a  friend  to  me  and  to  my  nation.  They  next  made 
me  point  out  the  direction  towards  his  dominions, 
and  having  satisfied  them  that  I  knew  which  way  his 
dominions  lay  from  us,  I  tried  to  intimate  to  them,  that 
if  they  would  carry  me  there,  I  should  be  able  to  pay 
them  for  my  ransom,  and  that  of  my  crew.  They 
shook  their  heads — it  was  a  great  distance,  and 
nothing  for  camels  to  eat  or  drink  on  the  way.  My 
shipmates,  who  were  with  me,  could  not  understand 
one  syllable  of  what  they  said,  or  of  their  signs,  and 
did  not  believe  that  I  was  able  to  communicate  at  all 
with  them.  Having  finished  their  council,  and  talked 
the  matter  over  among  themselves,  they  separated, 
Atid  our  masters,  taking  each  his  slave,  made  off, 

jSO  captain  RlLEl's  NARRATIVE. 

every  one  his  own  way.  Although  from  the  confe- 
rence I  derived  hopes  of  our  getting  ransomed, 
and  imparted  the  same  to  my  mates  and  crew,  yet 
they  all  seemed  to  think  I  was  deluding  them  with 
false  expectations ;  nor  could  I  convince  them  of  the 
contrary.  We  took  another  leave  of  each  other, 
when  we  parted  for  the  night,  having  travelled  this 
day,  I  should  guess,  about  fifteen  miles  S.  E. 

I  had  been  so  fully  occupied  since  noon,  that  no 
thoughts  of  victuals  or  drink  had  occurred  to  my 
mind.  We  had  none  of  us  ate  or  drank  any  thing 
this  day,  except  about  half  a  gill  of  milk  each  in 
the  morning  at  daylight,  and  about  half  a  pint  of 
black  beach  water  near  the  middle  of  the  day.  I 
was  delivered  over  to  an  Arab  named  Bickri,  and 
went  with  him  near  his  tent,  where  he  made  me  lie 
down  on  the  ground  like  a  camel.  Near  midnight 
he  brought  me  a  bowl  containing  about  a  quart  of 
milk  and  water;  its  taste  was  delicious,  and  as  my 
stomach  had  become  contracted  by  long  hunger 
and  thirst,  I  considered  it  quite  a  plentiful  draught. 
1  had  been  shivering  with  cold  for  a  long  time,  as  I 
had  no  covering  nor  skreen,  and  not  even  one  of  my 
shipmates  to  lie  near  me  to  keep  one  side  warm  at 
a  time.  I  was  so  far  exhausted  by  fatigues,  privations, 
&c.  that  my  misery  could  no  longer  keep  me  awake. 
I  sank  into  a  deep  sleep,  and  during  this  sleep  I  was 
troubled  in  the  first  place  with  the  most  frightful 

I  thought  I  was  naked  and  a  slave,  and  dream- 
ed over  the  principal  incidents  which  had  aheady 
actually  passei^.     I  then  thought  I  was  driven  by 


Arabs  with  red  hot  iron  spears  pointed  at  me  on 
every  side,  through  the  most  dreadful  fire  I  had 
ever  imagined,  for  near  a  mile,  naked  and  barefoot; 
the  flames  up  to  my  eyes,  scorched  every  part  of  my 
skin  off,  and  wasted  away  my  flesh  by  roasting, 
burning,  and  drying  it  off  to  the  bones;  my  tor- 
ments were  inconceivable — I  now  thought  I  looked 
up  towards  heaven,  and  prayed  to  the  Almighty  to 
receive  my  spirit,  and  end  my  sufferings ;  I  was  still 
in  the  midst  of  the  flames ;  a  bright  spot  like  an  eye, 
with  rays  arouad  it,  appeared  above  me  in  the  firma- 
ment, with  a  point  below  it,  reaching  towards  the 
N.  E. — I  thought  if  I  went  that  way  I  should  go 
right,  and  turned  from  the  south  to  the  N.  E. ;  the 
fire  soon  subsided  and  I  went  on,  still  urged  by  them 
about  me,  with  their  spears  pricking  me  from  time 
to  time  over  high  sand  hills  and  rocky  steeps,  my 
flesh  dropping  off  in  pieces  as  I  went, — then  de- 
scending a  deep  valley,  I  thought  I  saw  green  trees— 
flowering  shrubs  in  blossom — cows  feeding  on  green 
grass,  with  horses,  sheep,  and  asses  near  me,  and  as 
I  moved  on,  I  discovered  a  brook  of  clear  running 
water:  my  thirst  being  excessive,  I  dragged  my 
mangled  limbs  to  the  brook,  threw  myself  down, 
and  drank  my  fill  of  the  most  delicious  water.  When 
my  thirst  was  quenched,  I  rolled  in  the  brook  to  cool 
my  body,  which  seemed  still  consuming  with  heat; 
then  thanked  my  God  in  my  heart  for  his  mercies. 

My  masters  in  the  meantime  kept  hurrying  me  oi^ 
in  the  way  pointed  out  by  the  All-seeing  eye,  which 
was  still  visible  in  the  heavens  above  my  head^ 
through  crooked,  thorny,  and  narrow  paths,  over 



high  mountains  and  deep  valleys — past  hopts  eft 
armed  men  on  horseback  and  on  foot,/aQd  walled 
cities,  until  we  met  a  tall  young  man  di:esse«l.  in  the 
European  and  American  mannefv  by  the  side  of  a^ 
brook,  riding  on  a  stately  horse,  wh<j>  upon  seeing, 
me  alighted,  and  rushing  forward,  wild  with  joy, 
caught  me  in  his  arms,  and  pressed  me  to  his  breast, 
calling  me  by  the  endearing  name  of  brother,  in  my 
own  language — I  thought  I  fainted  in  his  arms  from 
excess  of  joy,  and  when  I  revived,  found  myself  in  a 
neat  room,  with  a  table  set  in  the  best  manner  be- 
fore me,  covered  with  the  choicest  meats,  fruits,  and 
wines,  and  my  deliverer  pressing  me  to  eat  and 
drink ;  but  finding  me  too  much  overcome  to  partake 
of  this  refreshment,  he  said,  "  take  courage,  my  dear 
friend,  God  has  decreed  that  you  shall  again  em- 
brace your  beloved  wife  and  children."  At  this 
instant  I  was  called  by  my  master — I  awoke,  and 
found  it  was  a  dream. 

Being  daylight,  (Sept.  12th)  he  ordered  me  to 
drive  forward  the  camels ;  this  I  did  for  about  an 
hour,  but  my  feet  were  so  much  swelled,  being  la- 
cerated by  the  cutting  of  the  stones,  which  seemed 
as  if  they  would  penetrate  to  my  heart  at  every 
step — I  could  not  help  stooping  and  crouching  down 
nearly  to  the  ground.  In  this  situation,  my  first 
master  Hamet  observed  me;  he  was  going  on  the 
same  course,  S.  E.  riding  on  his  camel ;  he  came  near 
my  present  master,  and  after  talking  with  him  a  good 
while,  be  took  off  the  blanket  from  his  back  and 
gave  it  to  Bickri — then  coming  close  to  me,  made 
signs  for  me  to  stop.     He  next  made  his  camel  lie 


down;    then  fixing  a  piece  of  skin  over  his  back 
"behind  the  saddle,  and  making  its  two  ends  fast  to 
the  girths  to  keep  it  from  slipping  off,  he  bade  me 
TQount  on  it,  while  he  got  on  Ms  saddle  and  steadied 
me  with  his  hand  until  the  camel  rose.     He  then 
"Went  on  the  same  course  as  before,  in  company  with 
three  or  four  other  men,  well  armed  and  mounted. 
The  sun  beat  dreadfully  hot  upon  my  bare  head  and 
body,  ^nd  it  appeared  to  me  that  my  head  must  soon 
«pHt  to  pieces,  as  it  was  racking  and  cracking  with 
excruciating  pain.     Though  in  this  horrible  distress, 
yet  I  still  thought  of  my  dream  of  the  last  night— 
*'  a  drowning  man  will  catch  at  a  straw,"   says  the 
proverb,  and  I  can  verily  add,  that  the  very  faintest 
gleam  of  hope  will  keep  alive  the  declining  spirits 
of  a  man  in  the  deepest  distress  and  misery ;  for 
from  the  moment  I  began  to  reflect  on  what  ha4 
passed  through  my  mind  when  sleeping,  I  felt  con- 
'vinced  that  thoiigh  this  was  nothing  more  thai  a 
dream,   yet  still   remembering  how  narrowly   and 
often  I  had  escaped  immediate  apparent  death,  a«d 
believing  it  was  through  the  peculiar  interposition  of 
divine  Providence,  I  could  not  but  believe  that  the 
All-seeing  eye   was   watching  over  my  steps,  and 
"Would  m  due  time  conduct  me  by  his  unerring  wis- 
dom, into  paths  that  would  lead  to  my  deliverance, 
€Lnd  restoration  to  my  family. 

I  was  never  superstitious,  nor  ever  did  I  believe  in 
dreams  or  visions,  as  they  are  termed,  or  even  re- 
membered them,  so  as  to  relate  any  I  may  have  had; 
but  this  dream  made  such  an  impression  on  mj 
mind,  that  it  was  not  possible  for  me  to  remove  it 
from  my  memory — being  now  as  fresh  as  at  the  jno- 


inent  I  awoke  after  dreaming  it,  and  I  must  add 
that  when  I  afterwards  saw  Mr.   Willshire,  I  knew 
him  to  be  the  same  man  I  had  seen  in  my  sleep. 
He  had  a  particular  ngark  on  his  chin — ^wore  a  light 
coloured  frock  coat,  had  on  a  white  hat,  and  rode 
the   same  horse.     From  that   time  I   thought   if  I 
Could  once  get  to  the  empire  of  Morocco,  I   should 
be  sure  to  find  a  friend  to  relieve   me  and  my  com- 
panions, whose  heart  was  already  prepared  for  it  by 
superior  power.     My  mind  was  thus  employed  until 
we  came  to  a  little  valley  where  half  a  dozen  tents 
were  pitched :  as  soon  as  we  saw  them,  Haraet  made 
his  camel  kneel  down,  and  me  to  dismount — he  was 
met  by  several  women  and  children,  who   seemed 
very  glad  to  see  him,   and  I  soon   found   that  they 
yvere   his    relations.       He   beckoned    me    to    come 
towards  his  tent,  for  he  lived  there  apparently  with 
his  mother,  and  brothers  and  sisters,  but  the  woman 
and   girls  would  not  suffer  me  to  approach   them, 
driving  me  off  with  sticks,  and  throwing  stones  at 
me;  but  Hamet   brought  me  a  little  sour  milk  and 
water  in  a  bowl,  which  refreshed  me  considerably. 

It  was  about  two  o'clock  in  the  day,  and  I  was  forced 
to  remain  broiling  in  the  sun  without  either  tree,  shrub, 
or  any  other  shade  to  shield  me  from  its  scorching 
rays,  until  night,  when  Dick  (the  cook)  came  in  with 
the  camels.  Hamet  had  kept  Dick  from  the  begin- 
ning, and  made  him  drive  the  camels,  but  allowed 
him  to  sleep  in  one  corner  of  the  tent,  and  gave  him 
for  the  few  first  days,  as  much  milk  as  he  could 
drink,  once  a  day;  and  as  he  was  a  domestic  slave, 
he  managed  to  steal  water,  and  sometimes  sour 
milk  when  he  was  drv. 

^UFFERIxVGS    IN    AFRfCA.  85 

In  the  evening  of  this  day,  I  was  joined  by  Hogan, 
and  now  found  that  he  and  myself  had  been  pur- 
chased by  Hamet  that  day,  and  that  Horace  be- 
longed to  an  ill-looking  old  man,  whose  tent  was 
pitched  in  company.     This  old  villain  came  near  me, 
and  saluted  me  by  the  name  of  JRais,  asking  me  the 
ijame  of  his  boy;  (Horace)  I  told  him  it  was  Horace, 
which  after  repeating  a  few  times,  he  learned  so  per- 
fectly,  that  at  every  instant  he    was  yelling    out 
*'  Hoh  Rais'"'  for  something  or  other.     Hamet  was 
of  a  much  lighter  colour  than  the  other  Arabs  we 
were  with,  and  I  thought  he  was  less   cruel,  but  in 
this  respect  I  found  I  was  mistaken,  for  he  made 
myself  and   Hogan  lie  on  the  ground  in  a  place  he 
chose,  where  the  stones  were  very  thick  and  baked 
into  the  ground  so  tight  that  we  could  not  pull  them 
out  with  our  fingers,  and  we  were  forced  to  lie  on 
their  sharp  points,  though  at  a  small  distance,  not 
more  than  fifty  yards,  was  a  spot  of  sand.     This  I 
made  him  understand,  (pointing  at  the  same  time  to 
my  skinless  flesh)  but  he  signified  to  us  that  if  we 
did  not  remain  where  he  had  ordered,  we  should 
get  no  milk  when  he  milked  the  camels.     I  calculate 
we  travelled  this  day  about  thirty  miles. 

Here  then  we  staid,  but  not  to  sleep,  until  about 
the  midnight  hour,  when  Hamet  came  to  us  with  our 
milk — It  was  pure  and  warm  from  the  camels ;  and 
about  a  pint  for  each.  The  wind  blew  as  is  usual  in 
the  night,  and  on  that  part  of  the  desart  the  air  was 
extremely  cold  and  damp ;  but  its  moisture  on  our 
bodies  was  as  salt  as  the  ocean.  Having  received 
our  share  of  milk,  when  all  was  still  in  the  tent. 


"we  stole  to  the  sandj  place,  where  we  got  a  little 
sleep  during  the  remaining  part  of  the  night.  Ho- 
Face's  master  would  not  permit  him  to  come  near 
me,  nor  me  to  approach  him,  making  use  of  a  stick, 
as  well  to  enforce  his  commands  in  this  particular, 
as  to  teach  us  to  understand  him  in  other  respects. 

At  daylight  (Sept.   13th)  we  were  called  on  to 
proceed.     The  families  struck  their  tents,  and  pack- 
ed them  an   camels,   together  with  all  their  stuff. 
They  made  us  walk  and  keep  up  with  the  camels, 
though  we  were  so  stiff  and  sore  all  over   that  we 
could  scarcely  refrain  from  crying  out  at  every  step: 
such  was   our  agony : — still  pursuing  our  route  to 
the  S.  E.     In  the  course  of  the  morning,  I  saw  Mr. 
Wilhams  ;  he  was  mounted  on  a  camel,  as  we  had 
all  been  the  first  day,  and  had  been  riding  with  the 
drove  about  three  hours — I  hobbled  alons:  towards 
him ;  his  camel  stopped,  and  I  was  enabled  to  take 
him  by  the  hand — he  was  still  entirely  naked;  his 
skin  had  been  burned  off;  his  whole  body  was  so 
excessively    inflamed  and    swelled,    as   well  as  his 
lace,  that  I  only  knew  him  by  his  voice,  which  was 
very  feeble.     He  told  me  he  had  been  obliged  to 
sleep  naked  in  the  open  air  every  night;  that  his  life 
was  fast  wasting  away  amidst   the   most   dreadful 
torments ;  that  he  could  not  live  one  day  more  in 
such  misery;  that  his  mistress   had   taken  pity  on 
feim,  and  anointed  his  body  that  morning  with  butter 
or  grease,  but,  said  he,  "  I  cannot  live;"  should  you 
ever  get  clear  from  this  dreadful  place,  and  be  re- 
stored to  your  country,  tell  my  dear  wife  that  my 
%st  breath  was  spent  in  prayers  for  her  happiness* 


he  tould  say  no  more ;  tears  and  sobs  choked  his 

His  master  arrived  at  this  time,  and  drove  on  hi& 
camel,  and  I  could  only  say  to  him,  "  God  Almighty 
bless  you,"  as  I  took  a  last  look  at  him,  and  forgot, 
for  a  moment,  while  contemplating  his  extreme  dis- 
tress, my  own  misery.  His  camel  was  large,  and 
moved  forward  with  very  heavy  motions;  as  he 
went  from  me,  I  could  see  the  inside  of  his  legs  and 
thighs — they  hung  in  strings  of  torn  and  chafed 
flesh — the  blood'  was  trickling  down  the  sides  of  the 
camel,  and  off  his  feet — "  ray  God !"  I  cried,  "  suffer 
us  not  to  live  longer  in  such  tortures." 

"  I  had  stopped  about  fifteen  minutes,  and  my 
master's  camels  had  gained  a  great  distance  from 
me,  so  that  I  was  obliged  to  run  that  I  might  come 
up  with  them.  My  mind  was  so  shocked  with  the 
distresses  of  Mr.  Williams,  that  I  thought  it  would 
be  impious  for  me  to  complain,  though  the  sharp 
stones  continued  to  enter  my  sore  feet  at  every  step. 
My  master  saw  me,  and  stopped  the  drove  for  me  to 
come  up ;  when  I  got  near  him,  he  threatened  me, 
shaking  his  stick  over  my  head,  to  let  me  know  what 
I  had  to  expect  if  I  dared  to  commit  another  fault. 
He  then  rode  off,  ordering  me  and  Hogan  to  drive 
the  camels  on  as  fast  as  we  could.  About  an  hour 
afterwards  he  came  near  us,  and  beckoned  to  me  to 
come  to  him,  which  I  did.  A  tall  old  man,  nearly  as 
black  as  a  negro,  one  of  the  most  ill-looking  and 
disgusting  I  had  yet  seen,  soon  joined  my  master, 
with  two  young  men,  whom  I  found  afterwards  were 


his  sons — thej  were  also  joinecj  by  a  number  more 
on  camels,  and  well  armed. 

After  some  time  bartering  about  me,  I  was  given  to 
the  old  man,  whose  features  showed  every  sign  of  the 
deepest  rooted  malignity  in  his  disposition.  And  is 
this  my  master,  thought  I  ?  Great  God  I  defend  me 
from  his  cruelty  !  He  began  to  go  on — he  was  on  foot; 
so  were  his  two  sons;  but  they  walked  faster  than 
camels,  and  the  old  man  kept  snarling  at  me  in  thd 
most  surly  manner,  to  make  mp  keep  up.  I  tried  my 
very  best,  as  I  was  extremely  anxious  to  please  him,  if 
such  a  thing  was  possible,  knowing  the  old  adage  of 
"the  devil  is  good  when  he  is  pleased,"  was  correct, 
when  applied  to  human  beings;  but  I  could  not  go 
fast  enough  for  him ;  so  after  he  had  growled  and 
kept  on  a  considerable  time,  finding  I  could  not  keep 
up  with  him,  he  came  behind  me  and  thrust  me  for- 
ward with  hard  blows  repeatedly  applied  to  my  ex- 
posed back,  with  a  stout  stick  he  had  in  his  hand. 
Smarting  and  staggering  under  my  wound,  I  made 
the  greatest  efforts  to  get  on,  but  one  of  his  still  more 
inhuman  sons,  (as  I  then  thought  him)  gave  me  a 
double  barrelled  gun  to  carry,  with  his  powder  horo 
and  other  accoutrements :  they  felt  very  heavy,  yet 
after  I  had  taken  them,  the  old  man  did  not  again 
strike  me,  but  went  on  towards  the  place  where  he 
meant  to  pitch  his  tent,  leaving  me  to  follow  on  as 
well  as  I  could. 

The  face  of  the  desart  now  appeared  as  smooth 
as  the  surface  of  the  ocean,  when  unruffled  by  winds 
or  tempests.     Camels  could  be  seen  on  every  direi?- 


tion,  as  soon  as  tliey  come  above  the  horizon,  so 
that  there  was  no  difficulty  in  knowing  which  way  to  go, 
and  I  took  care  to  keep  sight  of  my  new  master's 
drove,  until  I  reached  the  valley,  in  which  he  had 
pitched  his  tent.  I  was  broiling  under  the  sun  and 
tugging  along,  with  my  load,  which  weighed  me 
down  to  the  earth,  and  should  have  lain  down  des- 
pairing, had  I  not  seen  Mr.  Williams  in  a  still  worse 
plight  than  myself. 

Having  come  near  the  tent  about  four  P.  M.  they 
took  the  load  from  me,  and  bid  me  lie  down  in  the 
shade  of  the  tent.  I  then  begged  for  water,  but 
could  get  none.  The  time  now  came  on  for  prayers, 
and  after  the  old  man  and  his  sons  had  performed 
this  ceremony  very  devoutly,  they  went  away.  I  was 
in  so  much  pain,  I  could  scarcely  contain  myself,  and 
my  thirst  was  more  painful  than  it  had  yet  been. 
I  tried  to  soften  the  hearts  of  the  women  to  get  me 
a  little  water,  but  they  only  laughed  and  spit  at  me  ; 
and  to  increase  my  distresses  as  much  as  they  could, 
drove  me  away  from  the  shade  of  the  tent,  so  that 
I  was  forced  to  remain  in  the  scorching  sun  for  the 
remainder  of  this  long  day. 

A  little  after  sunset  my  old  and  young  masters  re= 
turned ;  they  were  joined  by  all  the  men  that  were  near, 
to  the  number  of  from  twenty  to  thirty,  and  went 
through  their  religious  ceremonies  in  a  very  solemn 
manner,  in  which  the  women  and  little  children  did 
not  join  them.  Soon  after  this  was  over,  Clark  came 
in  with  the  camels  and  joined  me ;  it  would  have  been 
pleasant  to  be  together,  but  his  situation  was  such 
that  it  made  my  heart-ache  still  worse   than  it  did 



before;  he  was  nearly  without  a  skin;  every  part  of 
his  body  exposed;  his  flesh  excessively  mangled, burnt 
and  inflamed.  "  I  am  glad  to  see  you  once  more,  sir,'* 
said  Clark,  "  for  I  cannot  live  through  the  approach- 
ing night,  and  now  beg  of  you,  if  you  ever  get  to 
our  country  again,  to  tell  my  brothers  and  sisters  how 
I  perished."  I  comforted  him  all  I  could,  and  assured 
him  he  would  not  die  immediately ;  that  the  nourish- 
ment we  now  had,  though  very  little,  was  sufficient 
to  keep  us  alive  for  a  considerable  time,  and  that 
though  our  skins  were  roasted  off  and  our  flesh  in- 
flamed, we  were  yet  alive  without  any  signs  of  pu- 
trefaction on  our  bodies ;  that  I  had  great  hopes  we 
should  all  be  carried  in  a  few  days  from  this  desart 
to  where  we  might  get  some  food  to  nourish  us,  and 
as  I  had  learned  a  little  of  the  language  of  these 
people,  (or  savages)  I  would  keep  trying  to  persuade 
them  that  if  they  would  carry  us  up  the  Moorish 
dominions,  I  should  be  able  to  pay  them  a  great  ran- 
som for  all  the  crew;  for  an  old  man  had  told  me 
that  as  soon  as  it  should  rain  they  would  journey  to 
the  N.  E.  and  sell  us. 

The  night  came  on ;  cold  damp  winds  succeeded 
to  the  heat  of  the  day,  and  I  begged  of  my  old  mas- 
ter to  be  permitted  to  go  under  the  corner  of  his 
tent,  (for  it  was  a  large  one)  and  he  seemed  willing, 
pointing  out  a  place  for  us  to  lie  down  in,  but  the  wo- 
men would  not  consent,  and  we  remained  outside  until 
the  men  had  milked  the  camels.  They  then  gave  us  a 
good  drink  of  milk,  near  a  quart  each,  and  after  the 
women  were  asleep,  one  of  my  young  masters, 
pamed  Omar,  (the  same  that  made  me  carry  his  gun 


the  preceding  clay,  to  keep  his  father  from  beating 
me)  took  pity  on  our  distresses,  and  came  and  made 
us  creep  under  one  corner  of  the  tent,  without 
waking  the  women,  where  some  soft  sand  served  us 
for  a  bed,  and  the  tent  kept  off  the  cold  air  from  usj 
and  here  we  slept  soundly  until  morning.  As  soon 
as  the  women  awoke,  and  found  us  under  the  tent, 
they  were  for  thrusting  us  out  with  blows,  but  I 
pretended  to  be  asleep,  and  the  old  man  looking  on 
lis,  seemed  somewhat  concerned,  fearing  (as  I  thought) 
he  might  lose  his  property.  He  told  his  women  to 
let  us  alone,  and  as  he  was  absolute,  they  were 
forced  to  obey  him,  though  with  every  appearance  x)^ 

After  they  had  milked  the  camels,  and  took  a 
drink  themselves,  they  gave  us  what  remained, 
that  is  to  say,  near  a  pint  between  us.  They  did  not 
move  forward  this  way,  and  suffered  us  to  remain 
under  the  corner  of  the  tent  in  the  shade  all  the 
while  and  the  next  night,  and  even  gave  us  a  piece 
of  a  skin  to  cover  us  with  in  part,  and  keep  off  the 
night  wind.  They  gave  us  a  good  drink  of  milk  when 
they  drank  themselves  on  the  second  night,  and  Omar 
had  given  us  about  a  pint  of  water  each,  in  the 
middle  of  the  day;  so  that  the  inflammation  seemed  to 
have  subsided  in  a  great  -degree  from  our  flesh  and 

This  attention,  together  with  the  two  good  nights* 
rest,  revived  us  very  much — these  were  the  14th, 
and  15th  days  of  September.  I  had  not  seen  any 
of  my  unfortunate  shipmates  except  Clark,  and  did 
sot  know  whefe  they  were  during  the  day  we  re- 

92  CAPTAIN  Riley's  narrative. 

maihed  still.  The  camels  were  driven  oil  early  in 
the  morning  by  a  negro  slave  and  two  of  the  small 
boys,  and  did  not  return  until  in  the  night — they 
went  out  to  the  east  to  find  shrubs  for  them  to  feed 
on.  Clark  was  obliged  near  night  to  go  out  and 
pull  up  some  dry  thorn  bush  shrubs  and  roots  to 
make  a  fire  with.  At  the  return  of  the  camels,  the 
negro  slave  (who  was  a  stout  fellow,  named  Boireck) 
seated  himself  by  the  fire,  stretching  out  his  legs  on 
each  side  of  it,  and  seeing  us  under  the  tent,  thought 
to  drive  us  out;  but  as  he  was  not  permitted  by  our 
old  master,  he  contented  himself  by  pointing  at  us 
and  making  comparisons :  then  sneeringly  address- 
ing me  by  the  name  of  Rias,  or  chief,  w^ould  set  up 
a  loud  laugh,  which,  with  the  waggery  he  displayed 
in  his  remarks  on  us,  kept  the  whole  family  and  se- 
veral strangers  who  had  assembled  on  the  occasion, 
in  a  constant  roar  of  laughter  until  midnight,  the 
hour  for  milking  the  camels.  He  would  poke  our 
sore  flesh  with  a  sharp  stick,  to  make  sport,  and  show 
the  Arabs  what  miserable  beings  we  were,  who  could 
not  even  bear  the  rays  of  the  sun  (the  image  of  God, 
as  they  term  it)  to  shine  upon  us. 

Being  tormented  in  this  manner,  my  companion 
Clark  could  scarcely  contain  his  wrath:  "it  was  bad' 
enough,  (he  said)  to  be  reduced  to  slavery  by  the 
savage  Arabs ;  to  be  stripped,  and  skinned  alive  and 
mangled,   without  being  obfiged  to  bear  the  scoffs 

and  derision  of  a  d d  negro  slave."     I  told  him 

I  was  very  glad  to  find  he  still  had  so  much  spirits 
left,  and  could  feel  as  if  he  wished  to  revenge  an 
insult — it  proved  to  me  that  he  felt  better  than  he 


did  the  preceding  night,  and  as  I  was  so  much  re- 
lieved myself,  my  hopes  of  being  able  to  endure  our 
tortures  and  privations  increased,  adding,  "  let  the 
negro  laugh  if  he  can  take  any  pleasure  in  it;  I  am 
willing  he  should  do  so,  even  at  my  expense :  he  is 
a  poor  slave  himself,  naked  and  destitute,  far  from 
his  family  and  friends,  and  is  only  trying  to  gain  the 
favour  of  his  masters  and  mistresses,  by  making 
sport  of  us,  whom  he  considers  as  much  inferior  to 
him  as  he  is  to  them."  Clark  could  not  be  recon- 
ciled to  this  mode  of  mockery  and  sport,  but  the 
negro  kept  it  up  as  long  as  we  remained  with  his 
master,  every  night,  and  always  had  plenty  of  spec- 
tators to  admire  his  wit,  and  laugh  at  his  tricks  and 
buffoonery.  This  reminded  me  gf  the  story  of 
Samson,  when  the  Philistines  wished  to  make  sport 
with  him;  he  was  blind,  and  they  supposed  him 
harmless ;  but  he  became  so  indignant,  that  he  was 
willing  to  suffer  death  to  be  revenged  of  them;  the 
difference  was,  he  had  strength  to  execute  his  will, — 
we  had  not. 

From  the  15th  to  the  I8th,  we  journeyed  every 
day  to  the  S.  E.  about  thirty  miles  a  day,  merely  to 
find  a  few  shrubs  in  the  small  scattered  valleys  for 
the  camels,  and  consequently  for  the  inhabitants  to 
subsist  on.  As  we  went  on  in  that  direction,  the 
valleys  became  less  frequent  and  very  shallow ;  the 
few  thorn  bushes  they  produced  were  very  dry,  and 
no  other  shrubs  to  be  found;  the  camels  could  not 
fill  their  stomachs  with  the  leaves  and  shrubs,  nor 
with  all  that  they  could  crop  off,  though  they  pulled 
away  the  branches  as  thick  as  a  man's  finger.     The 


milk  began  to  fail,  and  consequently  we  had  to  Tdc 
scanted,  so  that  our  allowance  was  reduced  to  half 
a  pint  a  day,  and  as  all  the  water  they  had  taken 
from  the  well  was  expended,  they  could  give  us  no 
more  of  that  preficus  article.  There  was  belong- 
inof  to  tills  tribe  four  mares  that  were  the  oreneral 
property;  they  were  very  clear  limbed,  and  very 
lean;  they  fed  them  on  milk  every  day,  and  every 
one  took  his  turn  in  giving  them  as  much  water 
every  two  days  as  they  would  drink.  These  mares 
drank  up  the  last  of  our  water  on  the  19th,  nor 
would  my  master  allow  me  to  drink  what  little  was 
left  in  the  bowl,  not  exceeding  half  a  pint,  and  it 
was  poured  out  as  a  drink  otfering  before  the  Lord, 
while  they  prayed  for  rain,  which  indeed  they  had 
reason  to  expect,  as  the  season  they  knew  was  ap- 
proaching, when  some  rain  generally  happens.  I 
supposed  owr  distance  from  the  sea,  or  the  well  that 
we  had  left,  to  be  three  hundred  miles  in  a  direct 
line,  and  feared  very  much  that  we  should  not  find 
water  at  any  other  place.  The  sustenance  we  re- 
ceived was  just  sufficient  to  keep  the  breath  of  life 
in  us,  but  our  flesh  was  less  infla^med  than  in  the  first 
days,  for  we  had  continued  to  lie  under  a  part  of  the 
tent  at  night,  and  also  in  the  day-time  when  it  was 
pitched,  which  was  generally  the  case  about  two 
o'clock  in  the  afternoon.  We  had,  however,  become 
so  emaciated,  that  we  could  scarcely  stand,  and  they 
did  not  attempt  to  make  me  nor  Clark  do  any  kind  of 
work,  except  gather  a  few  dry  sticks,  towards  even- 
img,  to  light  a  fire.  The  swellings  had  also  gone 
down  ia  some  measure  from  our  feet,  as  there  was 


not  substance  enough  in  us  to  keep  up  a  running 
sore ;  all  the  moisture  in  them  seemed  to  dry  aAvay, 
and  we  could  support  the  prickings  and  cutting  of 
the  stones  better  as  we  became  lighter  and  more 
inured  to  it.  We  had  endeavoured  to  find  some  of 
the  kind  of  root  that  was  met  with  near  the  sea 
coast,  but  none  could  be  procured.  In  every  valley 
we  came  to,  the  natives  would  run  about  and  search 
under  every  thorn  bush,  in  hopes  to  find  some  herb, 
for  they  were  nearly  as  hungry  as  ourselves.  In 
some  places  a  small  plant  was  found,  resembhng 
what  we  call  shepherd's  sprout ;  they  were  torn  up 
by  them  and  devoured  in  an  instant.  I  got  one  or 
two,  but  they  proved  very  bitter,  and  were  impreg- 
nated, in  a  considerable  degree,  with  salt:  these 
plants  were  so  rare  as  to  be  scarcely  of  any  benefit. 
There  were  also  found  by  the  natives,  in  particular 
places,  a  small  ground  root,  whose  top  showed  itself 
like  a  single  short  spear  of  grass,  about  three  inches 
above  the  ground ;  they  dug  it  up  with  a  stick ;  it 
was  of  the  size  of  a  small  walnut,  and  in  shape  very 
much  like  an  onion ;  its  taste  fresh,  without  any 
strong  flavour;  but  it  was  very  difficult  to  find,  and 
afforded  us  very  little  relief,  as  we  could  not  «;et 
more  than  half  a  dozen  in  a  whole  day's  search*  and 
some  davs  none  at  all. 

On  the  19th  of  September,  in  the  morning,  the 
tribe  having  held  a  council  the  night  before,  at  which 
I  could  observe  my  old  master  was  looked  up  to  as 
a  man  of  superior  judgment  and  influence,  they 
began  a  route  back  again  towards  the  sea,  and  the 
well  near  which  we  were  first  made  slaves; — this 


convinced  me  that  no  fresh  water  could  be  procured 
nearer,  and  as  the  camels  were  almost  dry,  I  much 
feared  that  myself  and  my  companions  must  perish 
before  we  could  reach  it.  I  had  been  in  the  habit 
every  day  since  I  was  on  the  desart,  of  relieving  my 
excessive  thirst  by  the  disagreeable  expedient  before 
mentioned ;  but  that  resource  now  failed  me  for  the 
want  of  moisture,  nor  had  any  thing  passed  through 
my  body  since  the  day  I  left  the  well.  We  had  jour- 
neyed for  seven  and  a  half  days  S.  E.  and  I  con- 
cluded it  would  require  the  same  time  to  return;  but 
on  the  18th  we  steered  N.  E.  and  on  the  I9th  we 
took  a  N.  W.  direction,  and  in  the  course  of  the  day 
We  entered  a  very  small  valley,  where  we  found  a 
few  little  dwarf  thorn  bushes,  not  more  than  two 
feet  hiofh ;  on  these  we  found  some  snails,  most  of 
which  were  dead  and  dry,  but  I  got  about  a  handful 
that  were  alive,  and  when  a  fire  was  kindled,  roasted 
and  ate  them — Clark  did  the  same,  and  as  we  did 
not  receive  more  than  a  gill  of  milk  each  in  twenty- 
four  hours,  this  nourishment  was  very  serviceable. 
On  the  morning  of  the  20th  we  started,  as  soon 
as  it  was  light,  and  drove  very  fast  all  the  day.  We 
had  no  other  drink  than  the  camels'  urine,  which  we 
caught  in  our  hands  as  they  voided  it ;  its  taste  was 
bitter,  but  not  salt,  and  it  relieved  our  fainting  spi- 
rits. We  were  forced  to  keep  up  with  the  drove, 
but  in  the  course  of  the  day  found  a  handful  of 
snails  each,  which  we  at  night  roasted  and  ate.  Our 
feet,  though  not  swollen,  were  extremely  sore;  our 
bodies  and  limbs  were  nearly  deprived  of  skin  and 
flesh,  for  we  continually  wasted  away,  and  the  little 


fre  had  on  our  bones  was  dried  hard,  and  stuck  fast 
to  them.     My  head  had  now  become  accustomed  to 
the  heat  of  the  sun,  and  though  it  remained  unco- 
vered, it  did  not  pain  me.     Hunger,  that  had  preyed 
upon  my  companions  to  such  a  degree  as  to  cause 
them  to  bite  off  the  flesh  from  their   arms,  had  not 
the  same  effect  on  me.     I  was  forced  in  one  instance 
to  tie  the  arms  of  one  of  my  men  behind  him,  in 
order  to  prevent  his  gnawing  his  own  flesh ;  and  in 
another  instance,  two  of  them  having  caught  one  of 
the  boys,  a  lad  about  four  years  old,  out  of  sight  of 
the  tents,  were  about  dashing  his  brains  out  with  a 
stone,  for  the  purpose  of  devouring  his  flesh,  when 
luckily  at  that   instant  I  came  up  and  rescued  the 
child,  with  some  difficulty,  from  their  voracity.  They 
were  so  frantic  with  hunger,  as  to  insist  upon  having 
one  meal  of  his  flesh,  and  then  they  said  they  would 
be  willing  to  die  ;  for  they  knew  that  not  only  them- 
selves, but  all  the  crew  would  be  instantly  massacred 
as  soon  as  the  murder  should  be  discovered.     I  con- 
vinced them  that  it  would  be  more  manly  to  die  with 
hunger  than  to  become  cannibals  and  eat  their  own 
or  other  human  flesh,  telling  them,  at  the  same  time, 
I  did  not  doubt  but  our  masters  would  give  us  sufii- 
cient  nourishment  to  keep  us  alive,  until  they  could 
sell  us.     On    the    20th,   we   proceeded  with  much 
speed  towards  the  N.  W.  or  sea  shore ;  but  on  the 
21st,  we  did  not  go  forward. 

This  day  I  met  with  Mr.  Savage,  Horace,  Hogan, 
and  the  cook ;  their  masters'  tents  were  pitched  near 
ours ;  they  were  so  weak,  emaciated  and  sore,  that 
they  could   scarcely  stand,  and  had  been  carried  on 



the  camels  for  the  last  few  days.  I  was  extremelj? 
glad  to  see  them,  and  spoke  to  all  but  Horace,  whose 
master  drove  me  off  with  a  stick  one  way,  and 
Horace  another,  yelling  most  horribly  at  the  same 
time  and  laying  it  on  Horace's  back  with  great  fury. 
I  soon  returned  to  our  tent,  and  felt  very  much 
dejected;  they  all  thought  they  could  not  live  another 
day — there  w  ere  no  snails  to  be  found  here,  and  we 
had  ret  one  drop  of  milk  or  water  lo  drink.  Horace^ 
Ho^an,  and  the  cook  were  employed  in  attending  their 
masters'  camels,  in  company  with  one  or  two  Arabs, 
Afho  kept  flogging  them  nearly  the  whole  of  the  time. 
My  old  master  did  not  employ  me  or  Clark  in  the 
same  way,  because  he  had  two  negro  slaves  to  do 
that  work;  he  was  a  rich  man  among  them,  and  owned 
from  sixty  to  seventy  camels;  he  was  also  a  kind  of 
priest,  for  every  evening  he  was  joined,  in  his  devo- 
tions, by  all  the  old  and  most  of  the  young  men 
near  his  tent.  They  all  first  washed  themselves  witb 
sand  in  place  of  water ;  then  wrapping  themselvea 
up  with  their  strip  of  cloth  and  turning  their  faces 
to  the  east,  my  old  master  stepped  out  before  them, 
and  commenced  by  bowing  twice,  repeating  at  each 
time  "./?//aA  Houakibar i'"'  then  kneeling  and  hewing 
his  head  to  the  ground  twice;  then  raising  himself  up 
on  his  feet,  and  repeating,  "  HielMah  ShedaMoho^ned 
Rahsool  Allahy  bowins:  himself  twice;  and  a^ain 
prostrating  himself  on  the  earth  as  many  times,  then 
"  Jjllah  Houakibar'''  was  three  times  repeated.  He 
was  always  accompanied  in  his  motions  and  words 
by  all  present  who  could  see  him  distinctly,  as  he 
stood  before   them.     He  would  then  make  a   long 


prayer,  and  they  recited  altogether  what  I  afterwards 
found  to  be  a  chapter  in  the  Koran ;  and  then  all 
joined  in  chaunting  or  singing  some  hymn  or  sacred 
poetry  for  a  considerable  time.  This  ceremony  being 
finished,  they  again  prostrated  themselves  with  their 
faces  to  the  earth,  and  the  service  concluded. 

About  the  middle  of  this  day  two  strangers 
arrived,  riding  two  camels  loaded  with  goods:  they 
came  in  front  of  my  master's  tent,  and  having  made 
the  camels  lie  down,  they  dismounted,  and  seat- 
ed themselves  on  the  ground  opposite  the  tent, 
with  their  faces  turned  the  other  way.  There  were 
in  this  valley  six  tents,  besides  that  of  my  masters. 


Two  Arabian  merchants  are  persuaded  by  the  author  to 
purchase  him  and  four  of  his  suffering  companions — 
they  kill  a  camel,  and  prepare  to  set  out  for  Mo' 
rocco  across  the  Desart. 

All  the  men  had  gone  out  a  hunting  on  their 
camels,  carrying  their  arms  with  them ;  that  is  to  say, 
seeking  for  plunder  as  I  concluded.  My  old  and 
young  mistresses  went  to  see  the  strangers ;  they 
had  no  water  to  carry,  as  is  customary,  but  took 
with  them  a  large  skin,  with  a  roll  of  tent  cloth  to 
make  them  a  shelter;  the  strangers  rose  as  the  women 
drew  near,  and  saluted  them  by  the  words  "  LabeZj 
Labez-Salem;  Lahez-Alikom  i^^  peace,  peace  be  with 


you,  &LC.  and  the  women  returned  these  salutations 
in  similar  words.  They  next  ran  to  our  tent,  and 
took  a  couple  of  sticks,  with  the  help  of  which  and  the 
skin  and  tent  cloth,  they  soon  made  an  awning  for  the 
strangers.  This  done,  they  took  the  bundles  which 
were  on  the  camels,  and  placed  them  in  this  tenU 
with  the  saddles  and  all  the  other  things  the  stran- 
gers had  brought.  The  two  strangers  had  a  couple 
of  skins  that  contained  water,  which  the  women  hung 
up  on  a  frame  they  carried  from  our  tent. 

During  the  whole  time  the  v/omen  were  thus 
employed,  the  strangers  remained  seated  on  the 
ground  beside  their  guns,  for  they  had  each  a 
double  barrelled  musket,  and  so  bright,  that  they 
glittered  in  the  sun  like  silver.  The  women  having 
finished  their  attentions,  seated  themselves  near  the 
strangers,  and  made  inquiries,  as  near  as  I  could  com- 
prehend, by  saying,  ">  where  did  you  come  from  f 
what  goods  have  you  got  ?  how  long  have  you  been 
on  your  journey  .'*"  &c.  Having  satisfied  their  curi- 
osity on  these  points,  they  next  came  to  me,  and  the 
old  woman  (in  whom  as  yet  I  had  not  discovered  one 
spark  of  pity)  told  me  that  Sidi  Hamet  had  come 
with  blankets  and  blue  cloth  to  sell ;  that  he  came 
from  the  Sultan's  dominions,  and  that  he  could  buy 
me  and  carry  me  there,  if  he  chose,  where  I  might 
find  my  friends,  and  kiss  my  wife  and  children. 

Before  my  master  returned  I  went  to  the  tent  of 
Sidi  Hamet,  with  a  wooden  bowl,  and  begged  for 
some  water;  showing  my  mouth,  which  was  ex- 
tremely parched  and  stiff,  so  much  so,  that  I  could 
xvith  difficulty  speak.     He  looked  at  me,  and  asked 

''         ■  -  J 


il  i  was  el  Rais  (the  captain).  I  nodded  assent;  he 
told  his  brother,  who  was  with  him,  to  give  me  some 
water,  but  thi^  his  benevolent  brother  w^ould  not 
condescend  to  do;  so  taking  the  bowl  himself,  he 
poured  into  it  near  a  quart  of  clear  water,  saying, 
''Sherub  Rias" — that  is,  drink,  captain,  or  chief. 
I  drank  about  half  of  it,  and  after  thanking  him  and 
imploring  the  blessing  of  Heaven  upon  him  for  his 
humanity,  I  was  going  to  take  the  rest  of  it  to  our 
tent,  where  Clark  lay  stretched  out  on  his  back, 
a  perfect  wreck  of  almost  naked  bones ;  his  belly 
and  back  nearly  collapsed,  and  breathing  like  a 
person  in  the  last  agonies  of  death:  but  Sidi  Ha- 
met  would  not  permit  me  to  carry  the  water  away, 
bidding  me  drink  it  myself  I  pointed  out  to  him  my 
distressed  companion  ;  this  excited  his  pity,  and  he 
sutfered  me  to  give  Clark  the  remainder. 

The  water  was  perfectly  fresh,  and  revived  him 
exceedingly ;  it  was  a  cordial  to  his  desponding  soul, 
beinor  the  first  fresh  water  either  of  us  had  tasted 
since  we  left  the  boat ;  his  eyes  that  were  sunk  deep 
in  their  sockets,  brightened  up — "  this  is  good  water, 
(said  he)  and  must  have  come  from  a  better  country 
than  this ;  if  we  were  once  there,  (added  he)  and  I 
could  get  one  good  drink  of  such  water,  I  could  die 
with  pleasure,  but  now  I  cannot  live  another  day."  Our 
masters  soon  returned,  and  began,  with  others  of  the 
tribe,  who  had  received  the  news  of  the  arrival  of 
strangers,  to  form  circles,  and  chat  with  them  and  each 
other ;  this  continued  till  night,  and  I  presume  there 
were  at  least  two  hundred  men  present.  After  dark 
they  began  to  separate,  and  by  10  o'clock  at  night 
Vone  remained  but  my  old  master's  family,  and  three 


or  four  of  their  relations,  at  our  tent.  On  thi« 
occasion  we  were  turned  out  into  the  open  air,  and 
were  obhged  to  pass  the  night  without  any  shelter 
or  covering.  It  was  a  long  and  tedious  night ;  but 
at  the  time  of  milking  the  camels,  our  old  master 
coming  to  us,  as  if  afraid  of  losing  his  property  by 
our  death,  and  anxious  we  should  live,  dealt  out  about 
a  pint  of  milk  to  each ;  this  milk  tasted  better  thaa 
any  I  had  yet  drank ;  it  was  a  sweet  and  seasonable 
relief,  and  saved  poor  Clark  from  dissolution. 

This  was  the  first  nourishment  of  any  kind  our 
master  had  given  us  in  three  days,  and  I  concluded 
from  this  circumstance  that  he  had  hopes  of  selling 
us  to  the  strangers.  The  next  morning  Sidi  Hamet 
came  towards  the  tent,  and  beckoned  me  to  come 
there ;  he  was  at  a  considerable  distance,  and  I 
tnade  the  best  of  my  way  to  him;  here  he  bade  me 
sit  down  on  the  ground.  I  had  by  this  time  learned 
many  words  in  their  language,  which  is  ancient 
Arabic,  and  could  understand  the  general  current 
of  their   conversation,  by    paying   strict   attention 

to  it. 

He  now  began  to  question  me  about  Ojiy  country, 
and  the  manner  in  which  I  had  come  here — I  made 
him  understand  that  I  was  an  Englishman,  and  that 
my  vessel  and  crew  were  of  the  same  nation — I 
found  he  had  heard  of  that  country,  and  I  stated  as 
well  as  I  could  the  manner  of  my  shipwreck — told  him 
we  were  reduced  to  the  lowest  depth  of  misery; 
that  I  had  a  wife  and  five  children  in  my  own  country, 
besides  Horace,  whom  I  called  my  eldest  son,  ming- 
ling with  my  story  sighs  and  tears,  and  sM  the  signs 


of  affection  and  despair  which  these  recollectionfe 
and  my  present  situation  naturally  called  forth. 

I  found  him  to  be  a  very  intelligent  and  feeling 
man — for  although  he  know  no  language  but  the 
Arabic,  he  comprehended  so  well  what  I  wished  to 
communicate,  that  he  actually  shed  tears  at  the 
recital  of  my  distresses,  notwithstanding  that, 
among  the  Arabs,  weeping  is  regarded  as  awomanisli 
weakness.  He  seemed  to  be  ashamed  of  his  own 
want  of  fortitude,  and  said  that  men  who  had  beards 
like  him,  ought  not  to  shed  tears ;  and  he  retired, 
wiping  his  eyes. 

Finding  I  had  awakened  his  sympathy,  I  thought 
if  I  could  rouse  his  interest  by  large  offers  of  money, 
he  might  buy  me  and  my  companions,  and  carry  us 
up  from  the  desart-^ — so  accordingly  the  first  time  I 
saw  him  alone,  I  went  to  him  and  begged  him  to  buy 
me,  and  carry  me  to  the  sultan  of  Morocco  or 
Marocksh,  where  I  could  find  a  friend  to  redeem 
me.  He  said  no,  but  he  would  carry  me  to  Swearah, 
describing  it  as  a  walled  town  and  seaport.  I  told 
him  I  had  seen  the  sultan,  and  that  he  was  a  friend 
to  my  nation.  He  then  asked  me  many  other  ques- 
tions about  Mohammed  Rassool— I  bowed  and  point- 
ed to  the  east,  then  towards  heaven,  as  if  I  thought 
he  had  ascended  there:  this  seemed  to  please  him, 
and  he  asked  me  how  much  money  I  would  give  him 
to  carry  me  up;  upon  which  I  counted  over  fifty 
pieces  of  stones,  signifying  I  would  give  as  many 
dollars  for  myself  and  eacR  of  my  men.  "  I  will  not 
buy  the  others,"  said  he,  "  but  how  much  more  than 
fifty  dollars  will   you  give  me  for  yourself,  if  I  buy 


you  and  carry  you  to  your  friends  ?"  I  told  him  one. 
hundred  dollars.  "  Have  you  any  money  in  Sive- 
arah,^''  asked  he  by  signs  and  words,  "  or  do  you 
mean  to  make  me  wait  till  you  get  it  from  your  coun- 
try ?"  I  replied  that  my  friend  in  Swearah  would 
give  him  the  money  so  soon  as  he  brought  me  there. 
"  You  are  deceiving  me,"  said  he.  I  made  the  most 
solemn  protestations  of  my  sincerity: — "I  will  buy 
you  then,"  said  he,  "  but  remember,  if  you  deceive 
me,  I  will  cut  your  throat,"  (making  a  motion  to  that 
effect.)  This  I  assented  to,  and  begged  of  him  to 
buy  my  son  Horace  also,  but  he  would  not  hear  a 
word  about  any  of  my  companions,  as  it  would  be 
impossible,  he  said,  to  get  them  up  off  the  desart, 
which  was  a  great  distance.  "  Say  nothing  about  it 
to  your  old  master,"  signified  he  to  me,  "  nor  to  my 
brother,  or  any  of  the  others."  He  then  left  me, 
and  I  went  out  to  seek  for  snails  to  relieve  my  hun- 
ger. I  saw  Mr.  Savage  and  Hogan,  and  brought 
them  with  Clark  near  Sidi  Hamet's  tent,  where  we 
sat  down  on  the  around.  He  came  out  to  see  us, 
miserable  objects  as  we  were,  and  seemed  very 
much  shocked  at  the  sight.  I  told  my  companions 
I  had  great  hopes  we  should  be  bought  by  this  man 
and  carried  up  to  the  cultivated  country — but  they 
expressed  great  fears  that  they  would  be  left  be- 
hind. Sidi  Hamet  asked  me  many  questions  about 
my  men — wished  to  know  if  any  of  them  had  died, 
and  if  they  had  wives  and  children.  I  tried  all  I 
could  to  interest  him  in  ttieir  behalf,  as  well  as  my 
own,  and  mentioned  to  him  my  son,  whom  he  had 
not  vet  seen.     J.  found  my  companion^  had  been  verj 


much  stinted  in  milk  as  well  as  mjself,  and  that  they 
had  no  water, — they  had  found  a  few  snails,  which 
kept  them  alive  ;  but  even  these  now  failed. 

The  24th,  we  journeyed  on  towards  the  N.  W. 
all  day — the  whole  tribe,  or  nearly  so,  in  company, 
and  the  strangers  also  kept  in  company  with  us. 
When  my  mistress  pitched  her  tent  near  night,  she 
made  up  one  for  Sidi  Hamet  also.  I  begged  of  him 
on  my  knees  every  time  I  had  an  opportunity,  for 
him  to  buy  me  and  my  companions,  and  on  the  25th 
I  had  the  happiness  to  see  him  pay  my  old  master 
for  me :  he  gave  him  two  blankets  or  coarse  hoicks, 
one  blue  cotton  covering,  and  a  bundle  of  ostrich 
feathers,  with  which  the  old  man  seemed  much 
pleased,  as  he  had  now  three  suits  of  clothing. 
They  were  along  time  in  making  the  bargain. 

This  day  Horace  came  with  his  master  to  fetch 
s'omething  to  our  tent;  at  his  approach,  I  went  to 
meet  him,  and  embraced  him  with  tears.  Sidi 
Hamet  was  then  fully  convinced  that  he  was  my  son. 
I  had  found  a  few  snails  this  morning,  and  divided 
them  between  Mr.  Savage  and  Horace  before  Sidi 
Hamet,  who  signified  to  me  in  the  afternoon  that  he 
intended  to  set  out  with  me  in  two  days  for  Swea- 
rah;  that  he  had  tried  to  buy  my  son,  but  could  not 
succeed,  for  his  master  would  not  sell  him  at  any 
price  :  then  said  T,  "  let  me  stay  in  his  place  ;  I  will 
be  a  faithful  slave  to  his  master  as  long  as  I  live — 
carry  him  up  to  Swearah;  my  friend  will  pay  you 
for  him,  and  send  liim  home  to  his  mother,  wbcm  I 
cannot  see  unless  I  bring  her  son  with  rn^l^:^;  Ton 
shall  have  your  son,  by  Allah,"- iSaid  !^f  "Hiimet-, 



The  whole  tribe  was  gathered  In  council,  r.nd  I  sup- 
posed relative  to  this  business.  In  the  course  of  the 
afternoon  they  debated  the  matter  over,  and  seemed 
to  turn  it  every  way: — they  fought  besides  three  or 
four  battles  with  fists  and  scimitars,  in  their  warnr 
and  loud  discussions  in  settling  individual  disputes; 
but  in  the  evening  I  was  told  that  Horace  was 
bouirht,  as  the  tribe  in  council  had  forced  his  master 
to  sell  hira,  though  at  a  great  price.  I  now  redou- 
bled my  entreaties  with  my  new  master  to  buy  Mr. 
Savage  and  Clark,  telling  him  that  I  would  give  him 
a  large  sum  of  money  if  he  got  us  up  safe ;  but  he 
told  me  he  should  be  obliged  to  carry  us  through 
bands  of  robbers,  who  would  kill  him  for  our  sakes, 
and  that  his  company  was  not  strong  enough  to  resist 
them  by  force  of  arms — I  fell  down  on  my  knees, 
and  implored  him  to  buy  Mr.  Savage  and  Clark  at 
any  rate,  thinking  if  he  should  buy  them,  he  might 
be  induced  to  purchase  the  remaining  part  of  the 

My  mind  had  been  so  busily  employed  in  schemes 
of  redemption,  as  almost  to  forget  my  suiFerings 
since  Sidi  Hamet  had  bought  me.  He  had  given  me 
two  or  three  drinks  of  water,  and  had  begged  milk 
for  me  of  my  former  master.  On  the  morning  of 
the  26th,  I  renewed  my  entreaties  for  him  to  pur- 
chase Mr.  Savage,  Clark,  and  Hogan — the  others  I 
had  not  seen  since  the  second  or  third  day  after  we 
were  in  the  hands  of  the  Arabs.  I  did  not  know 
where  they  were,  and  consequently  could  not  desig- 
nate them  to  my  master  Hamet,  though  I  told  him 
nir  their  names.     Mr.    Savan;e   and  Hogan  looked 


much  more  healthy  and  hkely  to  Hve  than  Clark, 
and  Sidi  Hamet  insisted  that  it  was  impossible  that 
Clark  could  live  more  than  three  days,  and  that  if 
lie  bought  him,  he  should  lose  his  money.  I  told 
him  no,  he  shoulcj.not  lose  his  money,  for  whether 
he  lived  or  died,  I  would  pay  him  the  same  amount. 

Clark  was  afflicted  with  the  scalded  head,  render- 
ed a  raw  sore  in  consequence  of  his  sufferings,  and 
his  hair,  which  was  very  lopg,  was,  of  course,  in  a  very 
filthy  condition ;  this  attracted  the  attention  of  Sidi 
Hamet  and  his  brother,  the  latter  of  whom  was  a 
very  surly  and  cross-looking  fellow.  They  poked 
the  hair  and  scabs  open  with  their  sticks,  and  de- 
manded to  know  what  was  the  occasion  of  that  filthy 
appearance.  Clark  assured  them,  that  it  was  in 
consequence  of  his  exposure  to  the  sun,  and  as  that 
was  the  reason  I  had  assigned  for  the  horrible  sores 
and  blisters  that  covered  our  scorched  bodies  and 
half-roasted  flesh  ;  they  said,  it  might  possibly  be  so, 
but  asked  why  the  heads  of  the  rest  of  us  were  not 
in  the  same  state.  They  next  found^  fault  with  ray 
shins,  which  had  been  a  long  time  very  sore,  and 
they  examined  every  bone  to  see  if  all  was  right  in 
its  place,  with  the  same  cautious  circumspections 
that  a  jockey  would  use,  who  was  about  buying  a 
horse,  while  we,  poor  trembling  wretches,  strove 
with  all  possible  care  and  anxiety  to  hide  every  fault 
and  infirmity  in  us,  occasioned  by  our  dreadful  ca- 
lamities and  cruel  sufferingrs. 

Sidi  Hamet  informed  me  this  day,  that  he  had 
bought  Mr.  Savage  and  Clark,  and  had  bargained 
for  Hogan,   and  that  he  was  going  to  kill  a  camel 

108  OAPTAm  riley's  narrative. 

that  night  for  provisions  on  our  journey.  Our  water 
had  been  expended  for  two  days,  and  all  the  fami- 
lies around  us  were  also  destitute.  I  did  not  get  more 
than  a  gill  of  milk  in  twenty-four  hours,  and  a  small 
handful  of  snails — these  served  in  a  little  deo^ree  to 
support  nature,  and  I  waited  with  the  greatest  im- 
patience for  the  kiUing  of  the  camel  which  had  been 
promised,  hoping  to  have  a  meal  of  meat  once  more 
before  I  died.  Clark  and  I  had  been  busy  all  the 
afternoon  in  gathering  dry  sticks  to  make  a  fire,  and 
a  little  after  midnight  my  master  came  to  me  and 
showed  me  where  to  carry  the  wood  we  had  col- 
lected; it  was  in  a  little  gulley,  that  it  might  not  be 
seen  by  our  neighbours,  whilst  our  former  master 
and  two  present  ones  were  leading  a  camel  up  to 
the  same,  place.  This  camel,  on  its  arrival,  they 
made  lie  down  in  the  usual  manner :  it  was  a  very 
old  one,  and  so  poor,  that  he  had  not  been  able  to 
keep  pace  with  the  drove  during  the  journey,  and 
Sidi  Hamet  told  me  he  had  bought  him  for  one 

The  camel  being  down,  they  put  a  rope  round 
his  under  jaw,  with  a  noose  in  it;  then  hauling  his 
head  round  on  the  left  side,  made  the  rope  fast  to  his 
tail,  close  up  to  his  body;  his  neck  was  so  long,  that 
the  under  jaw  reached  within  six  inches  of  the  tail  : 
they  then  brought  a  copper  kettle  that  would  con- 
tain probably  three  gallons.  Thus  prepared,  Sidi 
Hamet  cut  open  a  vein  on  the  right  side  of  the 
camel's  neck,  close  to  his  breast;  the  blood  streamed 
out  into  the  kettle,  and  soon  filled  it  half  full;,  this 
they  set  over  the  fire  and  boiled,  stirring  it  all  the 


VJine  with  a  stick  until  it  became  thick,  and  of  the 
consistence  of  a  beef's  hver;  then  taking  it  off  the 
fire,  they  passed  it  to  me,  saying,  "  coole,  Riley," 
(eat,  Riley.)  I  did  not  wait  for  a  second  bidding, 
but  fell  to,  together  with  Clark :  our  appetites  were 
voracious,  and  we  soon  filled  our  stomachs  with  this, 
to  us,  delicious  food. 

Notwithstanding  the  lateness   of  the   hour,    and 
the  privacy  observed  in  killing  this  meagre  camel, 
many  of  our  hungry  neighbours  had  found  it  out, 
and  came  to  assist  in  the  dressing  and  eating  of  the 
animal.     They  insisted  on  having  some  of  the  blood, 
and  would  snatch  out  a  handful  in  spite  of  all  our 
masters  could  do  to  hinder  them ;  they  were  then 
very  officious  in  assisting  to  take  off  the  hide,  which 
was   soon   done,   and  the  entrails  were  rolled  out; 
they  next  proceeded  to  put  all  the  small  entrails  into 
the  kettle,  without  cleaning  them  of  their  contents, 
together  with  what  remained  of  the  Hver  and  lights; 
but  they  had  no  water  to  boil  them  in.     Then  one 
of  them  went  to  the  camel's  paunch,  which  was  very 
large,  and  cutting  a  slit  in  the  top  of  it,  dipped  out 
some  water  in  a  bowl,  thick  with  the  camel's  excre- 
ment :  this  they  poured   into  the  kettle,  and  set  it  a 
boiling,  stirring  it  round,  and  now  and  then  taking 
out  a  gut,  and  biting  off  an  end  to  ascertain  whether 
it   was  cooked  enough.      During  this  time,  half  a 
dozen  hungry  wretches  were  at  work  on  the  camel, 
which  they  would  not  leave  under  pretence  of  friend- 
ship   for   our   masters,    for  they    would  not    suffer 
strangers  to  work,  when  in   their  company,  and  it 
being  dark,  they  managed  to  steal  and  convey  away, 


before  morning,  more  than  one-half  of  the  carael*^ 
bones  and  meat,  with  half  his  skin.  Our  masters 
were  as  hungry  as  any  of  the  Arabs,  yet  though 
fhey  had  bought  the  came],  they  could  scarcely  get 
a  bite  of  the  intestines  without  fighting  for  it ;  for 
what  title  or  argument  can  prevail  against  the  vora- 
cious appetite  of  a  half-starved  man  }  Though  our 
masters  saw  the  natives  in  the  very  act  of  stealing 
and  carrying  off  their  meat,  they  could  not  prevent 
them,  fearing  worse  consequences  than  losing  it ;  it 
being  a  standing  maxim  among  the  Arabs  to  feed 
\\ie  hungry  if  in  their  power,  and  give  them  drink, 
even  if  the  owner  of  the  provisions  be  obliged  to 
rob  himself  and  his  own  family  to  do  it. 

Notwithstanding  the  boiled  blood  we  had  eaten 
was  perfectly  fresh,  yet  our  thirst  seemed  to  increase 
in  consequence  of  it.  As  soon  as  daylight  appeared, 
a  boy  of  from  fourteen  to  sixteen  years  old  came 
running  up  to  the  camel's  paunch,  and  thrusting  his 
liead  into  it  up  to  his  shoulders,  began  to  di'ink  of  its 
contents;  my  master  observing  him,  and  seeing  that 
my  mouth  was  very  dry,  made  signs  for  me  to  go 
and  pull  the  boy  away,  alid  drink  myself;  this  I  soon 
did,  putting  my  head  in  like  manner  into  the 
paunch;  the  liquid  was  very  thick,  but  though  its 
ta&te  was  exceedingly  strong,  yet  it  was  not  salt,  and 
allayed  ray  thirst:  Clark  next  took  a  drink  of  the 
s-ame  fluid. 

This  morning  we  were  busied  in  cutting  off  thfe 
nttle  flesh  that  remained  on  the  bones  of  our  camel, 
spreading  it  out  to  dry,  and  roasting  the  bones  on  the 
^re  for  our  masters,  who  cracking  them  between 


two  stones,  then  sucked  out  the  marrow  and  juices. 
Near  noon,  Horace  was  brought  where  I  was;  he 
was  very  hungry  and  thirsty,  and  said  he  had  not 
ate  any  thing  of  consequence  for  the  last  three  days. 
Our  common  master  said  to  me,  "  this  is  your  son 
Rais,"  and  seemed  extremely  glad  that  he  had  been 
able  to  purchase  him,  giving  him  some  of  the  entrails 
and  meat  he  had  boiled  and  saved  for  the  purpose.  I 
in  my  turn  gave  him  some  of  our  thick  camel's  water, 
wdiich  he  found  to  be  delicious;  so  true  it  is,  that 
hunger  and  thirst  give  a  zest  to  eYerj  thing.  Burns 
was  brought  up  soon  after,  and  my  master  asked 
me  if  he  was  one  of  my  men;  I  told  him  he  was: 
"  his  master  wants  to  sell  him,"  said  Sidi  Hamet, 
"  but  he  is  old  and  good  for  nothing,"  added  he ; 
"  but  I  can  buy  h'rr:  foi  this  blanket,"  showing  me 
a  very  poor  old  one — I  said,  "  buy  him,  he  is  my 
countryman,  I  will  repay  you  as  much  lor  hun  as  for 
the  others :" — so  he  went  out,  and  bought  him  from 
his  master,  and  then  gave  him  something  to  eat 
Poor  Burns  was  much  rejoiced  to  find  there  was  a 
prospect  of  recovering  his  liberty,  or  at  least  of  get- 
ting where  he  might  procure  something  to  eat  and 
drink.  During  this  day,  the  natives  flocked  round  in 
great  numbers,  men,  women,  and  children,  and  what 
with  begging  and  stealing  reduced  our  stock  of  meat 
to  less  than  fifteen  pounds  before  night. 

Sidi  Hamet  now  told  me  that  he  had  bought 
Hogan :  this  was  in  the  afternoon,  and  he  came  to 
us.  I  congratulated  him  on  our  favourable  pros- 
pects, and  our  master  gave  him  something  to  eat; 
but  his  former  master,  Hamet,  now  demanded  one 


blanket  more  for  him  than  had  been  agreed  on,  as 
he  was  a  stout  fellow :  my  master  would  not  be  im- 
posed upon,  nor  had  he  indeed  a  blanket  left.  I 
begged  very  hard  for  poor  Hogan,  but  it  was  to  no 
purpose,  and  his  old  master  drove  him  off,  laying  on 
his  back  with  a  stick  most  unmercifully.  Hamet's 
eyes  seemed  fairly  to  flash  fire  as  he  went  from  us. 
Hogan's  hopes  had  been  raised  to  a  high  pitch — 
they  were  now  blasted,  and  he  driven  back  like  a 
criminal  before  his  brutal  owner,  to  his  former  mise- 
rable abode.  He  had  informed  me  that  he  had 
never  as  yet,  since  our  captivity,  known  what  it  was 
to  sleep  under  the  cover  of  a  tent;  that  his  allowance 
of  milk  had  been  so  scant,  that  he  did  not  doubt  but 
he  must  have  died  with  hunger  in  a  day  or  two — 
he  was  extremely  wasted  and  sore  on  every  side. 
My  heart  bled  for  him  when  I  saw  the  blows  fall  on 
his  emaciated  and  mangled  frame,  but  I  could  not 
assist  him,  and  all  I  could  do  was  to  turn  round  and 
hide  my  face,  so  as  not  to  witness  his  further  tor- 

This  day  was  employed  in  preparing  for  our 
departure — our  masters  madie  me  a  pair  of  sandals 
with  two  thickness  of  the  camel's  skin ;  they  also 
made  Horace  a  pair  in  the  same  manner,  but  Clark 
and  Burns  were  fitted  with  single  ones;  they  bad  in 
the  morninsf  o-iven  me  a  small  knife,  which  I  huno; 
to  my  neck  in  a  case :  this  they  meant  as  a  mark  of 
confidence ;  and  they  also  gave  me  charge  of  their 
stuff,  the  camels,  and  the  slaves.  I  soon  perceived, 
however,  that  although  I  had  this  kind  of  command, 
yet  I  was  obliged  to  do  all  the  work.     Mv  men  were 


St)  far  exhausted,  that  even  the  hope  of  soon  obtain- 
ing their  hberty,  could  scarcely  animate  them  to  the 
least  exertion. 

In  tlie  evening  Sidi  Haraet  told  me,  .^aron  (Mr. 
Savage)  would  be  with  us  by  and  by : — that  we 
should  start  in  the  morning  for  Swearah,  and  that  he 
hoped,  through  the  blessing  of  God,  I  should  once 
more  embrace  my  family ;  he  then  told  me  how  much 
he  had  paid  for  each  one  of  us — that  he  had  ex- 
pended all  his  property,  and  that  if  I  had  not  told 
him  the  truth,  he  was  a  ruined  man — that  his 
brother  was  a  bad  man,  and  had  done  all  he  could  to 
prevent  his  buying  us,  but  that  he  had  at  last  con- 
sented to  it,  and  taken  a  share. 

He  next  made  me  repeat,  before  his  brother,  my 
promises  to  him  when  we  should  arrive  at  Swearah, 
and  my  agreement  to  have  my  throat  cut  if  my 
words  did  not  prove  true.  Late  in  the  evening  Mr. 
Savage  joined  us — he  knew  before  that  I  was  going 
to  set  out,  and  thought  he  should  be  left  behind — he 
was  very  thankful  to  be  undeceived  in  tl^is  particular, 
and  to  get,  at  the  same  time,  something  to  eat,  for 
Sidi  Hamet  had  saved  some  of  the  camel's  intes- 
tines, which  he  immediately  gave  him. 

After  having  satisfied  his  hunger  in  some  mea- 
sure, he  began  to  express  his  doubts  as  to  where  we 
were  going;  declaring,  that  he  did  not  believe  a 
word  these  wretches  said : — he  could  not  understand 
them,  and  said  he  did  not  believe  I  could;  and 
suggested  a  hundred  doubts  and  difficulties  on  the 
subject,  that  his  ill-boding  imagination  supplied  him 
with:    he  did  not  like  the  price  I  had  agreed   to 



give  for  our  liberty, — it  was  too  much,  and  I  should 
find  no  body  willing  to  advance  it  for  me,  as  I  was 
poor.     ^ 

We  had  started  what  water  remained  in  the 
paunch  of  the  camel,  thick  as  it  was,  into  a  goat 
skin,  straining  it  through  our  fingers  to  keep  out  the 
thickest  of  the  filth.  The  night  of  the  27th,  as  near 
as  we  could  keep  count  by  marking  the  day  of  the 
month  on  our  legs  with  a  thorn,  we  passed  in  the 
open  air,  five  of  us  together. 

At  daylight  on  the  morning  of  the  28'th,  we  were 
called  up  and  made  to  load  our  camels.  I  had  strong 
hopes  we  were  going  to  ride,  but  it  now  appeared 
not  to  be  the  case.  All  the  Arabs  in  the  valley  set 
out  in  the  morning  with  their  camels,  to  drive  them 
to  water — they  had  not  been  watered  since  the  10th, 
having  gone  without  any  for  eighteen  days.  They 
were  now  at  least  two  days'  journey  from  the  well, 
where  we  had  first  been  seized,  towards  which  they 
now  steered,  in  a  N.  W.  direction.  I  mention  this  cir- 
cumstance, to  show  the  time  these  wonderful  animals 
can  live  without  drink,  and  supply  their  masters  with 
milk,  even  when  nearly  destitute  of  vegetable  sub- 
stances ;  and  with  water  from  their  paunches  after 

Soon  after  sunrise,  our  masters  bade  us  drive  the 
camels,  up  the  bank;  at  this  moment  Archibald 
Robins  came  with  his  master  to  see  us,  and  I  sup- 
posed his  master  had  brought  him  with  a  view  of  sel- 
ling him.  I  had  not  before  seen  him  for  fourteen  days, 
and  he  had  only  arrived  soon  enough  to  witness  our 
departure — I  now  on  my  knees  begged,  as   I  had 


(lone  before  of  Sidi  Hamet,  to  purchase  him ;  but  he 
said  he  could  not,  and  so  hurried  us  on. 

I  told  Robbins  what  my  present  hopes  were,  and 
liiat  if  I  should  succeed  in  getting  clear,  I  would  us6 
my  utmost  endeavours  to  procure  his  and  the  rest  of 
the  crew's  redemption.  I  begged  him  to  continue  as 
long  as  he  could  with  his  present  master,  who,  for 
an  Arab,  appeared  to  be  a  very  good  man ;  and  to 
encourage  Mr.  Williams  and  all  the  others  to  bear 
up  with  fortitude,  and  support  hfe  as  long  as  it  was 
possible,  in  the  hope  that,  through  my  help  or  some 
other  means,  they  might  obtain  their  redemption  in 
a  short  time ;  and  having  taken  my  leave  of  him 
in  the  most  affectionate  manner,  (in  which  my  com- 
panions followed  the  example)  we  set  out  on  our 
journey,  but  with  heavy  hearts,  occasioned  by  the 
bitter  regret  we  felt  at  leaving  our  fellow  sufferers 
behind,  although  I  had  done  all  in  my  power  to 
make  them  partakers  of  our  better  fortuBe. 

CHAP.  X. 

7%e  author  and  four  of  his  companions  set  out  to  cross 
the  Desart — their  sufferings — they  come  to  a  spring 
of  fresh  water — description  of  its  singular  situation. 

From  the  time  I  was  sold  to  Sidi  Hamet,  my  old 
master  and  his  family  shunned  me  as  they  would  a 
pestilence;  and  the  old  villain  actually  stole  one 
piece  of  our  meat  from  me,  or  rather  robbed  me  of 
it  just  as  we  were  setting  out;  for  he  cut  it  off  the 


string  by  which  it  was  tied  to  the  camel,  in  spite  of 
mj  efforts  to  prevent  him.     Our  masters  were  ac- 
companied  for  a  considerable  distance  by  several 
men  and  women,  who  were  talking  and  taking  leave, 
going  on  very   slowly.     We  were   ordered  to  keep 
their  camels  together,which  I  thought  I  did;  yet  when 
they  were  finally  ready  to  depart,  they  found  their 
big  camel  had  marched  offagreat  distance,  probably 
two   miles   from   us,    following    a    drove    of  camels 
going  to  the  N.  W.     Sidi  Hamet  bade  me  fetch  him 
back — pointing  him  out :  notwithstanding  my  weak 
and  exhausted  state,  I  \vas  obliged  to  run   a    great 
way  to  come  up  with  him,  but  my  rising  spirits  sup- 
ported  me,  and  I  succeeded  in  bringing   him    back., 
where  the  other    camels  were  collected  by  my  ship= 

Sidi  Hamet  and  Seid  had  two  old  camels  on 
which  they  had  rode,  and  they  had  bought  also  a 
young  one  that  had  not  been  broke  for  riding.  We 
were  joined  here  by  a  young  Arab  named  Jibdallah: 
he  had  been  Mr.  Savage's  master  and  owned  a  camel, 
and  a  couple  of  goat  skins  to  carry  water  in ;  but 
these,  as  well  as  those  of  our  masters  were  entirely 
empty.  Sidi  Hamet  had  a  kind  of  a  pack  saddle 
for  each  of  his  old  camels;  but  nothing  to  cover 
the  bones  of  his  young  ones.  Having  fitted  them 
as  well  as  he  could,  (for  he  seemed  to  be  humane) 
he  placed  Mr.  Savage,  Burns,  and  Horace,  on  the 
big  one,  and  myself  and  Clark  on  the  other  old 
one.  Seid  and  Abdallah  took  their  seats  on  the  one 
which  belonged  to  Abdallah,  and  Sidi  Hamet  mount- 
ed the  young  one  himself  to  break  him,  sitting 
behind  the  hump  on  his  bare  back;  and  thus  ar- 


i-anged  and  equipped,  we  set  off  on  a  full  and  long 
stridins:  trot.  It  was  about  nine  A.  M.  when  we 
had  mounted ;  and  this  trot  had  continued  for  about 
three  hours,  when  we  stopped  a  few  minutes  in  a 
little  valley  to  adjust  our  saddles.  Here  Sidi  Hamet 
pulled  out  a  check  shirt  from  one  of  his  bags  and 
gave  it  me,  declaring  he  had  stolen  it,  and  had 
tried  to  get  another  for  Horace,  but  had  not  been 
able:  "put  it  on,"  said  he,  "your  poor  back  needs  a 
covering;"  (it  being  then  one  entire  sore.)  I  kissed 
his  hand  in  gratitude,  and  thanked  him  and  my 
Heavenly  Father  for  this  mercy.  Clark,  a  day  or 
two  before,  had  got  a  piece  of  an  old  sail,  that 
partly  covered  him — Burns  had  an  old  jacket,  and 
Horace  and  Mr.  Savage,  a  small  goat  skin  added  to 
their  dress — so  that  we  were  all,  comparatively, 
comfortably  clad.  We  did  not  stop  here  long,  but 
mounted  again,  and  proceeded  on  our  course  to  the 
E.  S,  E.  on  a  full  trot,  which  was  continued  till 
night ;  when,  coming  to  a  little  valley,  we  found  some 
thorn  bushes  and  halted  for  the  night. 

Here  we  kindled  a  fire,  and  our  masters  gave  us  a 
few  mouthfuls  of  the  camel's  meat,  which  we  roasted 
and  ate.  As  we  had  drank  no  water  for  the  last 
three  days,  except  a  very  little  of  what  we  had  taken 
from  the  camel's  paunch,  and  which  was  now  redu- 
ced to  about  four  quarts,  we,  as  well  as  our  masters, 
suffered  exceedingly  for  the  want  of  it,  and  it  was 
thereupon  determined  to  make  an  equal  distribu- 
tion of  it  among  the  whole  party ;  which  was  accord- 
ingly done  with  an  impartial  hand.  This  we,  poor  suf- 
ferers, made  out  to  swallow,  foul  and  ropy  as  it  was, 

118  CAPTAIN    RJLEy's    NARRATiyE. 

and  it  considerably  relieved  our  parched  throats  j 
and  then,  finding  a  good  shelter  under  a  thornbush» 
notwithstanding  our  unabated  pains  we  got  a  tol- 
erable night's  sleep.  We  had  travelled  this  day 
steady  at  a  long  trot,  at  a  rate,  I  judged,  of  between 
seven  and  eight  miles  an  hour ;  making  a  distance  of 
sixty-three  miles  at  the  lowest  computation.  Before 
daylight  in  the  morning  of  the  28th,  we  were  cal- 
led up  and  mounted  on  the  camels  as  before,  and  we 
set  oif  on  the  long  trot,  on  the  same  course,  i.  e.  E.  S, 
E.  as  on  the  preceding  day. 

The  same  smooth  hard  surface  continued,  with 
BOW  and  then  a  little  break,  occasioned  by  the 
naked  heads  of  rocks  just  rising  above  the  plain, 
and  forming,  in  some  places,  small  ledges.  Near 
one  of  these,  we  alighted  a  few  minutes  about  noon^ 
for  our  masters  to  perform  their  devotions ;  and  we 
allayed  our  thirst  by  diinking  some  of  the  camels' 
urine,  which  we  caught  in  our  hands :  our  masters 
did  the  same,  and  told  me  it  was  good  for  our 
stomachs.  The  camels  took  very  long  steps,  and 
their  motions  being  heavy,  our  legs,  unsupported  by 
stirrups  or  any  thing  else,  would  fly  backwards  and 
forwards,  chafing  across  their  hard  ribs  at  every 
step ;  nor  was  it  possible  for  us  to  prevent  it,  so  that 
the  remaining  flesh  on  our  posteriors,  and  inside  of 
Gur  thighs  and  legs  was  so  beat,  and  literally  pound- 
ed to  pieces,  that  scarcely  any  remained  on  our  bones; 
which  felt  as  if  they  had  been  thrown  out  of  their 
sockets,  by  the  continual  and  sudden  jerks  they  ex- 
perienced during  this  longest  of  days.  It  seemed  to 
me  as  though  the  sun  would  never  go  dpwn,  afnd 

Sl>rrEIllNGS    IN    AFRICA.  119 

when  at  last  it  did,  our  masters  had  not  yet  found 
a  place  to  lodge  in ;  for  they  wished,  if  possible,  to 
find  a  spot  where  a  few  shrubs  were  growing,  in  order 
that  the  camels  might  browse  a  little  during  the 
night.  They  stopped  at  last  after  dark  in  a  very 
small  valley,  for  they  could  find  no  better  place ; 
here  they  kindled  a  little  fire,  and  gave  us  about  a 
pound  of  meat  between  us,  which  we  greedily  de- 
voured, and  then  allayed  our  thirst  in  a  similar  man- 
ner as  before  mentioned. 

We  had  started  before  daylight  this  morning,  and 
had  made  but  one  stop  of  about  fifteen  minutes  in 
the  course  of  the  whole  day  until  dark  night,  having 
traveHed  at  least  fifteen  hours,   and  at  the  rate  of 
seven  miles  the  hour,  making  one  hundred  and  five 
miles.     Here  in  ourbarebone  and  mangled  state,  we 
were  forced  to  lie  on  the  naked  ground,  without  the 
smallest  shelter  from  the  wind,  which  blew  a  violent 
gale  all  night  from  the  north — suffering  in  addition 
to  the  cold,  the  cravings  of  hunger  and  thirst,  and 
the  most  excruciating  pains  in  our  limbs  and  nume- 
rous sores ;  nor  could  either  of  us  close  our  eyes  to 
sleep ;  and  I  cannot  imagine  that  the  tortures  of  the 
rack  can  exceed,  nor  indeed  hardly  equal,  those  -we 
experienced   this  night.     Sidi  Hamet  and  his  two 
companions,  who  had  been  accustomed  to  ride  in  this 
manner,  thought  nothing  of  it;  nor  did  they  even 
appear  to  be  fatigued ;  but  when  I  showed  him  my 
sores  in  the  morning,  and  the  situation  of  my  ship- 
mates, he  was  much  distressed,  and  feared  we  would 
not  live.     He  told  me  we  should  come  to  good  water 


soon,  when  we  might  drink  as  much  as  we  wanted 
of  it,  and  after  that  he  would  not  travel  so  fast. 

We  were  placed  on  our  camels  soon  after  day- 
light, (this  was  the  29th),  having  nothing  to  eat, 
and  drinking  a  little  camel's  water,  which  we  pre- 
ferred to  our  own  :  its  taste,  as  I  before  observed, 
though  bitter,  was  not  salt;  and  they  void  it  but 
seldom  in  this  dry  and  thirsty  country.  Proceed- 
ing on  our  journey  at  a  long  trot,  about  nine  o'clock 
in  the  morning,  we  discovered  before  us  what 
seemed  like  high  land,  as  we  were  seated  on  the 
camels ;  but  on  our  approach,  it  proved  to  be  the 
opposite  bank  of  what  appeared  once  to  have  been 
a  river  or  arm  of  the  sea,  though  its  bed  was  now 
dry.  At  about  10  o'clock,  we  came  to  the  bank 
nearest  us ;  it  was  very  steep,  and  four  or  five  hun- 
dred feet  deep,  and  in  most  places  perpendicular  or 
-overhanging.  These  banks  must  have  been  washed 
at  some  former  period,  either  by  the  sea  or  a  river; 
which  river,  if  it  was  one,  does  not  now  exist. 
After  considerable  search,  our  masters  found  a  place 
where  our  camels  could  descend  into  it,  and  having 
first  dismounted  and  made  us  do  the  same,  we  drove 
them  down.  When  we  had  descended  the  most 
difficult  part  of  the  bank,  Seid  and  Abdallah  went 
forward  (with  their  guns)  to  search  for  a  spring  of 
fresh  water,  which  Sidi  Hamet  told  me  was  not  very 
iar  distant.  He  now  made  me  walk  along  with  him, 
and  let  the  others  drive  on  the  camels  slowly  after 
us ;  for  they,  as  well  as  ourselves,  were  nearly  ex* 
bausted.     He  then  asked  me  a  great  many  ques- 


.tions  respecting  my  country,  myself  and  family;  and 
whether  I  had  any  property  at  home  ;  if  I  had  beeu 
At  Swearah,  and  if  I  told  him  the  truth  concerning 
my  having  a  friend  there,  who  would  pay  money  for 
me  ?  He  said  also,  that  both  himself  and  his  brother 
had  parted  with  all  their  property  to  purchase  us, 
and  wished  me   to  be  candid  with  him,  for  he  was 
"  my  friend."     "  God  (said  he)  Avill  deal  with  you, 
as  you  deal  with  me."     I  persisted  in  asserting  that 
I  had  a  friend  at  Swearah,  who  would  advance  any 
sum  of  money   I  needed,   and  answered   his   other 
questions  as  w^ell  as  I  was  able ;  evading  some  I  did 
not  choose  to  answer,   pretending  I  did  not  under- 
stand them.    "  Will  you  buy  Clark  and  Burns  ?  (said 
he)   they  are  good  for  nothing."     They  certainly 
did  look  worse,   if  possible,  than  the  rest  of  us.     I 
told  him  they  were  my  countrymen,  and  my  bro- 
thers, and  that  he   might  depend  upon  it  I  would 
ransom  them,  if  he  would  carry  us  to  the  empire  of 
Morocco  and  to  the  Sultan.     "  No,  (said  he)  the» 
Sultan  will  not  pay  for  you,  but  I  will  carry  you  to 
Swearah,  to  your  friend ;  what  is  his  name  ?"  Con- 
sul," said  I.     It  seemed  to  please  him  to  hear  me 
name  my  friend  so  readily ;  and  after  teaching  me 
to  count  in  Arabic,  and  by  my  fingers,  up  to  twenty, 
(which  was  ashreen)  he  told  me  I  must  give  him  two 
hundred  dollars  for  myself,  two  hundred  dollars  for 
Horace,  and  for  the  others  I  must  pay  one  hundred 
dollars   each;    showing   me   seven    dollars   he   had 
about  him,  to  be  certain  that  we  understood  each 
other  perfectly;  and  he  next  made  me  understand 
tliat  I  must  pay  for  our  provisions  on  the  road,  over 



and  above  this  sum.  He  then  made  me  point  out 
the  way  to  Swearah,  which  I  was  enabled  to  do  bj 
the  sun  and  trade  wind,  making  it  about  N.  E. 
"  Now,  (said  he)  if  you  will  agree  before  God  the 
most  High,  to  pay  what  I  have  stated,  in  money,  and 
give  me  a  double-barrelled  gun,  I  will  take  you  up 
to  Swearah ;  if  not,  I  will  carry  you  off  that  way," 
pointing  to  the  S.  E.  "  and  sell  you  for  as  much  as  I 
can  get,  sooner  than  carry  you  up  across  this  long 
desart,  where  we  must  risk  our  lives  every  day  for 
your  sakes ;  and  if  you  cannot  comply  with  your 
agreement,  and  we  get  there  safe,  we  must  cut  your 
throat,  and  sell  your  comrades  for  what  they  will 
luring."  I  assured  him  that  I  had  told  him  the  truths 
and  called  God  to  witness  the  sincerity  of  my  inten- 
tions, not  in  the  least  doubting  if  I  could  once  ar- 
rive there,  I  should  find  some  one  able  and  willing 
to  pay  the  sum  they  demanded.  "  You  shall  go  to 
Swearah,  (said  he,  taking  me  by  the  hand)  if  God 
please."  He  then  showed  oie  the  broken  pieces  of 
my  watch,  and  a  plated  candlestick,  which  he  said 
he  had  bought  from  some  person  who  had  come  from 
the  wreck  of  my  vessel.     The  candlestick  had  be- 

lonjied  to  Mr.  WiUiams — he  said  he  bousjht  the  ar- 
cs o 

tides  before  he  saw  me,  and  wished  to  know  what 
they  were  worth  in  Swearah  :  I  satisfied  him  as  well 
as  I  could  on  this  point.  During  this  conversation 
we  kept  walking  on  about  east,  as  the  bed  of  the 
river  ran  near  the  northern  bank,  which  was  very 
high,  and  Sidi  Hamet  looked  at  me  as  if  his  eye 
would  pierce  my  very  soul,  to  ascertain  the  secrets 
of  my  heart,  and  discover  whether  1  was  deceiving 


him  or  not;    and  he  became  satisfied  that  I  was 

By  this  time,  we  had  arrived  nearly  opposite  the 
place  where  he  calculated  the  spring  was,  and  his 
brother  and  Abdallah,  being  not  far  oif,  he  hailed 
them  to  know  if  they  had  found  it;  to  which  they 
answered  in  the  negative.  After  searching  about 
an  hour  in  the  bank,  he  discovered  it,  and  calling 
to  me,  for  I  was  below,  bade  me  come  up  to  where 
he  was,  at  the  foot  of  a  perpendicular  cliff — I  clam- 
bered up  over  the  fragments  of  great  rocks  that  had 
fallen  down  from  above,  as  fast  as  my  strength  would 
permit,  and  having  reached  the  spot,  and  seeing  no 
signs  of  water,  the  tears  flowed  fast  down  my 
cheeks,  for  I  concluded  the  spring  was  dried  up,  and 
that  we  must  now  inevitably  perish.  Sidi  Hamet 
looked  at  me,  and  saw  my  tears  of  despair — "  look 
down  there,  said  he,  (pointing  through  a  fissure  in 
the  rock,)  I  looked  and  saw  water,  but  the  cleft  was 
too  narrow  to  admit  of  a  passage  to  it ;  then  show- 
ing me  another  place,  'about  ten  or  fifteen  yards 
distant,  where  I  could  get  down,  to  another  small 
spring — "  Slierub  Riley,  (said  he)  it  is  sweet."  I 
soon  reached  it,  and  found  it  sweet  indeed ;  and 
taking  a  copious  draught,  I  called  my  companions, 
vvho  scrambled  along  on  their  way  up,  exclaiming  with 
great  eagerness,  "  where  is  the  water  ?  for  God's 
sake  !  where  is  it?  Oh,  is  it  sweet?"  I  showed  it  to 
them,  and  they  were  soon  convinced  of  the  joyful 
fact.  This  water  was  as  clear  and  as  sweet  as  any 
I  had  ever  tasted. 

124  CAPTAIN    RlLEil's    NARRATIVE. 

Sidi  Hamet  now  allowed  us  to  drink  our  fill,  while 
Seid  and  Abdallah  were  driving  the  four  camels  up 
the  bank  bj  a  zig-zag  kind  of  a  foot  way,  from  which 
the  stones  and  other  impediments  had  been  before 
removed,  apparently  with  great  trouble  and  labour. 
This  spring,  the  most  singular  perhaps  in  nature, 
•was  covered  with  large  rocks,  fifteen  to  twenty  feet 
high,  only  leaving  a  narrow  crooked  passage  next 
the  high  bank  behind  it,  by  which  a  common  sized 
man  might  descend  to  get  at  it.  It  might  contain,  I 
should  calculate,  not  more  than  fifty  gallons  of 
water;  cool,  clear,  fresh,  and  sweet,  and  I  presume 
it  communicated  with  the  one  that  was  first  shown 
me  between  the  rocks,  which  was  much  smaller. 
The  camels  had  been  driven  to  within  fifty  yards 
below  the  spring;  our  masters  then  took  off  the 
large  bowl  which  they  carried  for  the  purpose  of 
watering  the  camels :  then  bringing  a  goat  skin  near 
the  spring,  made  me  fill  it  with  the  water,  my  three 
shipmates  passing  it  up  to  me  in  the  bowl — I  kept 
admonishing  my  companions  to  drink  with  modera- 
tion, but  at  the  same  time  I  myself  continued  to  take 
in  large  draughts  of  this  delicious  water,  without 
knowing  when  to  stop;  in  consequence  of  which  I 
was  seized  with  violent  pains  in  my  bowels,  but 
soon  found  relief. 

It  was  here  that  I  had  an  opportunity  of  ascer- 
taining the  quantity  of  water  which  a  camel  could 
drink  at  one  draught.  We  filled  a  large  goat  skin 
fifteen  times,  containing  at  least  four  gallons,  and 
every  drop  of  this  water  was  swallowed  down  by 

SUFFERINGS      IN    AFRICA,  126. 

our  lart^est  camel,  amounting  to  the  enormous  quan- 
tity of  sixty  gallons,  or  two  barrels.  The  men  kept 
crying  out,  '''has not  that  camel  done  yet?  he  alone  will 
drink  the  spring  dry.''"'  It  was  in  effect  drained  very 
low;  but  still  held  out,  as  the  water  kept  continually 
running  in,  tliough  slowly.  This  camel  was  a  very 
large  and  old  one,  about  nine  feet  high,  stout  in  pro- 
portion, and  had  not  drank  any  water  for  twenty 
days,  as  I  was  informed  by  Sidl  Hamet :  but  the 
other  camels  did  not  drink  as  much  in  proportion. 

Having  finished  watering  them,  we  filled  two  goat 
skins  with  the  water,  which  had  now  become  thick 
and  whitish;  as  the  rock  in  which  the  bason  was 
formed  for  holding  it,  appeared  to  be  chalky,  soft, 
and  yielding.  We  descended  this  bank,  and  after 
preparing  the  camels,  we  were  mounted  thereon, 
and  proceeded  as  before,  but  along  to  the  eastward, 
in  this  arm  of  the  sea's  bed.  I  call  it  an  arm  of  the 
sea,  because  there  could  be  no  doubt  in  the  mind  of 
any  one  who  should  view  it,  that  these  high  banks 
were  worn  and  washed  by  water ;  they  were  from 
six  to  eight  or  ten  miles  distant  from  each  other, 
and  the  level  bottom  was  encrusted  with  marine 
salt.  The  bank  rises  four  or  five  hundred  le^t, 
and  nearly  perpendicular,  in  most  places.  The  broken 
fragments  of  rock,  gravel  and  sand,  that  had  been 
undermined  by  the  water,  and  tumbled  down,  fi  led 
a  considerable  space  near  the  cliiis.  and  did  not  ap- 
pear to  have  been  washed  by  the  water  for  a  great 
number  of  years.'  I  could  not  account  for  the  in- 
crustation of  salt  (as  we  must  have  been  at  least 
threfe  hundred  miles  firom  the  sep. ;  this  bottom  or 


bed  running  from  east  northwardly  to  the  west  or 
S.  W.)  in  any  other  way,  than  by  supposing  the  sea 
water  had  once  overflowed  this  level ;  that  it  had 
since  either  retired  from  that  part  of  the  coast,  or 
formed  a  bar  across  its  mouth,  or  outlet,  and  thus 
excluded  itself  entirely,  and  that  the  sea  air  com- 
bining with  the  saline  deposit  or  sediment,  continued 
this  encrustation. 

The  curious  and  interesting  springs,  before  men- 
tioned, are  situated  on  the  right  or  north  side  of  this 
dry  bay  or  river,  about  one  hundred  feet  below  the 
surface  of  the  desart,  and  from  three  hundred  and 
fifty  to  four  hundred  feet  from  the  bed  or  bottom^ 
There  was  not  the  smallest  sign  of  their  ever  hav- 
ing overflowed  their  basons ;  thereby  leaving  it  a 
mystery  how  they  ever  should  have  been  discover- 
ed, as  there  was  no  rill  to  serve  as  a  clue. 

Our  masters  now  hurried  on  to  the  eastward,  to 
find  a  place  to  emerge  from  this  dreary  abyss,  still 
more  gloomy,  if  possible,  than  the  face  of  the  de- 
sart. As  we  passed  along,  the  salt  crust  crumbled 
under  the  feet  of  our  camels,  like  the  thin  crust  of 
snow.  We  came  at  length  to  a  spot  in  the  bank  at 
a  kind  of  point,  where  we  ascended  gradually  from 
one  point  to  another  until  within,  probably,  two  hun'^ 
dred  feet  of  the  top ;  here  we  were  obliged  to  dis- 
mount, and  drive,  coax,  and  encourage  the  camels  to 
go  up.  The  ascent  was  very  steep,  though  in  zig- 
zag directions,  and  the  flat  rock  over  which  the 
camels  were  forced  to  climb,  threw  them  down 
several  times,  when  our  masters  would  encourage 
them  to  get  up  again,  by  singing  and  making  re- 


peated  trials :  helping  them  over  the  bad  places  by 
a  partial  lifting,  and  begging  the  assistance  of  God 
and  his  prophet  most  fervently,  as  well  as  of  all  the 

Having  at  length  reached  the  surface  of  the  de- 
sart,  they  stopped  a  few  minutes  to  let  the  camels 
breathe,  and  also  that  we  might  come  up,  for  Mr. 
Savage  and  Clark  could  not  keep  pace  with  the  rest 
of  us,  on  account  of  their  severe  pains  in  conse- 
quence of  overcharging  their  stomachs  with  water. 
The  desart  here  had  the  same  smooth  appearance 
we  had  before  observed :  no  rising  of  the  ground, 
nor  any  rock,  tree,  or  shrub,  to  arrest  the  view  with- 
in the  horizon — all  was  a  dreary,  solitary  waste,  and 
we  could  not  but  admire  and  wonder  at  the  good- 
ness of  Providence  in  providing  a  reservoir  of  pure 
fresh  water  to  quench  the  thirst  of  the  traveller  and 
his  camel  in  this  dry,  salt,  and  torrid  region,  and  we 
felt  an  inexpressible  gratitude  to  the  author  of  our 
being,  for  having  directed  our  masters  to  this  spot, 
where  our  lives  had  been  preserved  and  refreshed 
by  the  cool  delicious  spring,  which  seemed  to  be 
kept  there  by  a  continual  miracle. 

We  had  not  gone  more  than  eight  miles  from  the 
l&ank  (in  a  N.  E.  direction)  before  we  stopped  for 
the  night:  here  we  found  no  lee  to  screen  us  from  the 
strong  winds,  nor  bush  for  the  camels  to  browse  on. 
I  judge  we  had  travelled  five  hours  this  morning,  at 
the  rate  of  seven  miles  an  hour,  before  reaching  the 
bank,  and  five  miles  after  getting  down  it,  before  we 
came  to  the  spring;  making  it  forty  miles  to,  and  ten 
miles  from  the  spring  to  where   we  halted  for  the 


night,  so  that  this  day's  march  was  ahogether  at 
least  fifty  miles. 

The  dry  bed  or  bottom  before  mentioned,  had 
probably  been  an  inlet  or  arm  of  the  sea  that  never 
was  explored  by  Europeans,  or  any  other  civilized 
men;  yet  it  must  have  had  an  outlet;  and  that  outlet 
must  be  to  the  southward  of  us,  and  if  so,  its  mouth 
must  have  been  at  least  three  hundred  miles  distant. 

Here  we  ate  the  remainder  of  our  camel's  meat : — 
we  had  no  milk;  for  neither  of  our  masters'  camels 
yielded  any,  and  our  share  of  meat  was  not  more 
than  about  an  ounce  each. 

I  judged  by  the  height  of  the  north  star  above 
the  horizon  that  we  were  in  about  the  latitude  of 
twenty  degrees  North.  I  now  experienced  that  to 
have  only  one  want  supplied,  made  us  feel  the 
others  as  less  supportable  than  before  ;  for  although 
we  had  drank  as  much  fresh  water  as  we  could 
contain,  and  our  thirst  was  in  a  great  measure 
allayed,  still  we  were  rendered  extremely  uneasy  by 
the  gnawings  of  hunger,  which,  together  with  our 
sufferings  from  the  cold  and  pierping  winds,  made 
this  a  long  and  r&stless  night. 

CHAP.   XI. 

Journeying  on  the  Desart — they  are  hospitably  eniertaitied 
by  Arabs,  and  come  to  a  well  of  fresh  water. 

On  the  moraing  of  the  30th  we  started  very  early ; 
three  of  us  rode,  while  the  other  two  walked;  taking 
oiir  turns  every  three  hours,  or  thereabouts.     They 


let  the  camels  walk  all  this  day,  but  their  long  legs, 
and  the  refreshment  they  had  enjoyed  at  the  spring, 
enabled  them  to  step  along  so  fast  and  briskly,  that 
those  of  us  who  were  on  foot,  were  obliged  to  be  on 
a  continual  small  trot  in  order  to  keep  up  with  them  : 
the  wind  at  the  same  time  blowing  very  strong 
directly  against  us,  and  our  course  being  nearly 
N.  E. 

About  two  o'clock  P.  M.  Sidi  Hamet  said  to  me, 
*•  Riley,  shift  Gemel ;"  (I  see  a  camel ;)  he  was  very 
much  rejoiced  at  it,  and  so  were  his  companions  j 
but  neither  I  nor  my  companions  could  perceive  any 
thinor  of  the  kind   above  the  horizon  for  two  hours 


after  this.  Our  masters  had  altered  their  course  to 
about  East,  and  at  length  we  all  saw  a  camel,  ap- 
pearing like  a  speck  in  the  horizon,  but  we  did  not 
reach  the  travellers,  who  were  with  a  large  drove  of 
camels,  until  sunset.  Having  come  up  with  the  men, 
they  invited  our  masters  to  go  home  with  them ;  the 
invitation  was  accepted,  and  we  drove  our  camels 
along,  following  them  as  they  went  towards  their 
tents : — it  was  dark  and  quite  late  before  we  reached 
them,  which  were  four  in  number. 

We  stopped  at  a  small  distance  from  the  tents,  and 
were  obliged  to  pluck  up  a  few  scattered  shrubs,  not 
thicker  than  straw,  to  make  a  fire  with.  Our  masters 
had^given  us  neither  meat  nor  drink  this  day.  I 
begged  for  some  water,  and  they  gave  us  each  a 
very  scanty  drink.  We  had  travelled  full  fourteen 
hours  this  day,  and  at  the  rate  of  about  three  miles 
an  hour,  making  a;. distance   of  aiboyt  forty  miles. 



We  were  now  in  a  most  piteous  situation,  extremely 

chafed  and  worn  down  with  our  various  and  comph- 

cat^d  suiferings,  and  we  were  now  to  He  on  the  hard 

ground   without    the    smallest    screen ;  not   even    a 

spot  of  sand  on  which  to  rest  our  wearied  limbs — we 

had  been  promised,  however,  something  to  eat  by 

our  host,   and  about  1 1  o'clock  at  night  Sidi  Hamet 

called  me,  and    gave  me   a  bowl  containing  some 

boiled  meat,  which  I  divided  into  five  heaps,  and  we 

cast  lots  for  them.     This  meat  was  very  tender,  and 

there  was  just  enough  of  it  to  fill  our  stomachs:  after 

eating  this,  we  had  scarcely   lain  down  when  they 

brought  us  a  large  bowl  filled  with  milk  and  water. 

This  was  indeed  sumptuous  living,  notwithstanding 

our  pains  and  the  severely  cold  night  wind. 

On  the  morning  of  the  1st  of  October  we  were 
roused  up  early  to  pursue  our  journey.  Sidi  Hamet 
now  called  me  aside,  and  gave  me  to  understand 
that  this  man  had  got  my  spy  glass,  and  wanted  to 
know  what  it  was  worth.  I  requested  him  to  show 
it  to  me,  which  he  did ;  it  was  a  ncAv  one  I  had 
boucfht  in  Gibraltar,  and  it  had  not  been  injured. 
The  Arab,  though  he  did  not  know  the  use  of  it, 
yet  as  the  brass  on  it  glittered,  he  thought  it  was 
worth  a  vast  sum  of  money.  Sidi  Hamet  had  only 
seven  dollars  in  money,  having  invested  the  rest  of 
his  property  in  the  purchasing  of  us,  was  not  able  to 
buy  the  glass; — his  fancy  was  as  much  taken  with  it, 
however,  as  was  that  of  the  owner.  They  had  also  se- 
veral articles  of  clothing  in  their  possession,  which 
gave  me  reason  to  infer  that  we  could  not  be  a  great 
distance  from  the  place  where  our  vessel  was  wreck- 


ed;  but  there  was  no  metliod  of  calculating  to  any 
tlegree  of  certainty,  as  they  all  move  with  such 
rapidity  in  their  excursions,  that  they  seem  not  to 
know  whither,  or  what  distances  they  go,  nor  could 
I  find  out  any  thing  from  this  man  concerning  the 
wreck.  Taking  our  leave  from  this  truly  hospita- 
ble man,  we  pursued  our  course  N.  E.  on  the  level 

Our  masters  had  been  very  uneasy  all  the  prece- 
ding day,  on  account  of  meeting  with  no  land  marks 
to  direct  their  course;  they  were  in  the  same  dilem- 
ma this  day,  directing  their  camels  by  the  winds 
and  bearing  of  the  sun ;  frequently  stopping  and 
smelling  the  sand,  whenever  they  came  to  a  small 
sandy  spot,  which  now  and  then  occurred,  but  we 
did  not  come  across  any  loose  drifting  sand.  We  took 
turns  in  riding  and  walking,  or  rather  trotting,  as 
we  had  done  the  day  before,  until  the  afternoon, 
when  our  masters  walked,  (or  rather  ran)  and  per- 
mitted, us  to  ride. 

About  four  o'clock  P.  M.  we  saw,  and  soon  fell  in 
with  a  drove  of  camels,  that  had  been  to  the  north- 
ward for  water,  and  were  then  going  in  a  S.  W. 
direction,  with  skins  full  of  water,  and  buckets  for 
drawing  and  watering  the  camels;  their  owners  very 
civilly  invited  our  masters  to  take  up  their  lodgings 
with  them  that  night,  and  we  went  in  company 
with  them  about  two  hours,  to  the  South,  where 
falling  in  with  a  very  extensive  but  shallow  valley, 
we  saw  about  fifty  tents  pitched,  and  going  into  the 
largest  clear  place,  unloaded  and  fettered  our  camels 
to  let  them  browse,  on  the  leaves  and  twigs  of  the 
small  shrubs  that  grew  there,  or  on  the   little   low 


moss,  with  which  the  ground  was,  in  many  places,  co- 
vered. As  we  went  along  near  the  tents,  the  men  and 
\7omen  called  me  el  Rats,  and  soon  gathered  around 
with  their  children  to  look  at  us,  and  to  wonder. 
Some  inquired  about  my  country,  my  vessel,  my 
family,  &c.  Having  satisfied  their  curiosity,  they 
left  us  to  gather  sticks  to  kindle  our  masters'  fire; 
this  done,  we  found,  after  considerable  search,  a  soft 
spot  of  sand  to  lie  down  upon,  where  we  slept 
soundly  until  about  midnight,  when  we  were  aroused, 
and  each  of  us  presented  with  a  good  drink  of  milk  : 
this  refreshed  us,  and  we  slept  the  remainder  of 
the  night,  forgetting  our  sores  and  our  pains.  I 
reckon  we  had  travelled  this  last  day  about  forty 
miles  on  a  course  of  about  E.  N.  E. 

On  the  2d  of  October  we  set  out,  in  company 
with  all  these  families,  and  went  North  fifteen  or 
twenty  miles,  when  they  pitched  their  tents,  and 
made  up  a  kind  of  a  shelter  for  our  masters  with 
two  pieces  of  tent  cloth  joined  together  by  thorns 
and  supported  by  some  sticks.  Our  masters 
gave  us  a  good  drink  of  water  about  noon,  and  at 
midnight  milk  was  brought  from  all  quarters,  and 
each  of  us  had  as  much  as  he  could  swallow,  and 
actually  swallowed  more  than  our  poor  stomachs 
could  retain. 

The  tribe  did  not  move,  as  is  customary,  on  the 
2d  of  October,  waiting,  as  Sidi  Hamet  said,  for  the 
purpose  of  feasting  us.  They  gave  us  as  much  milk 
as  we  could  drink  on  the  night  of  the  second.  Here 
our  masters  bought  a  sheep,  of  which  animals  this 
tribe  had  about  fifty,  and  they  were  the  first  we  had 
seen;  but  they  were   so  poor,  that  they  could  with 


difficulfy  stand  and  feed  upon  the  brown  moss,  which 
covered  part  of  the  face  of  the  valleys  hereabouts, 
and  which  moss  was  not  more  than  one  inch  high. 
This  tribe,  not  unlike  all  the  others  we  had  seen, 
took  no  nourishment,  except  one  good  drink  of  milk 
at  midnight,  and  a  drink  of  sour  milk  and  water  at 
mid-day,  when  they  could  get  it. 

On  the  morning  of  the  3d  of  October,  our  mas- 
ters took  leave  of  this  hospitable  tribe  of  Arabs, 
who  not  only  fed  Mew,  but  seemed  desirous  that  we, 
their  slaves,  should  have  sufficient  nourishment  also, 
and  gave  us  liberally  of  the  best  they  had.  Our 
masters  had  made  a  trade  with  them,  and  exchanged 
our  youngest  camel  for  an  old  one  that  was  lame  in 
his  right  fore  foot,  and  one  that  was  not  more  than 
half  grown.  The  old  one  they  called  Coho,  (or  the 
lame)  and  the  young  one  Goyeite,  (or  the  little  child.) 
The  sheep  our  masters  purchased  was  tied  about 
the  neck  with  a  rope,  and  I  was  obliged  to  lead  it 
until  about  noon,  when  we  came  to  a  low  valley,  with 
some  small  bushes  in  it — in  the  midst  there  was  a 
well  of  tolerable  good  water — here  we  watered  the 
camels,  and  as  the  sheep  could  go  no  farther,  they 
killed  it,  and  put  its  lean  carcass  on  a  camel,  after 
placing  its  entrails  (which  they  would  not  allow  me 
time  to  cleanse)  into  the  carcass.  This  well  was 
about  forty  feet  deep,  and  dug  out  among  the  big 
surrounding  roots. 



They  arrive  amongst  immense  mountains  of  driving 
sand — their  extreme  sufferings — their  masters  find  and 
steal  some  barley^  and  restore  it  again. 

Having  watered  our  camels,  and  filled  two  skins 
with  water,  and  drank  as  much  as  we  needed — they 
mounted  Horace  on  the  young  camel,  and  all  the 
others  being  also  mounted,  we  proceeded  on  towards 
ihe  N.  E.  at  a  long  walk,  and  sometimes  a  trot,  dri- 
ving the  old  lame  camel  before  us  until  dark  night» 
and  I  think  we  travelled  thirty-five  miles  this  day. 
The  entrails  of  the  sheep  were  now  given  us  for  our 
supper;  these  we  roasted  on  a  fire  we  made  for 
the  purpose,  and  ate  them,  while  our  masters  finisl> 
ed  two  of  the  quarters. 

We  lay  this  night  without  any  screen  or  shelter, 
and  early  in  the  morning  of  the  4th,  we  set  off  on 
our  journey,  all  on  foot,  driving  our  camels  before 
us,  on  the  same  kind  of  flat  surface  we  had  hitherto 
travelled  over:  but,  about  10  A.  M.  it  began  to  as- 
sume a  new  aspect,  and  become  sandy.  The  sand 
where  we  first  entered  it,  lay  in  small  loose  heaps, 
through  which  it  was  very  difficult  to  walk,  as  we 
sank  in  nearly  to  our  knees  at  each  step — this  sand 
was  scorching  hot.  The  camels  were  now  stopped, 
and  all  of  us  mounted  on  them,  when  on  their  rising 
up,  we  saw  before  us  vast  numbers  of  immense  sand 
hills,  stretching  as  far  as  the  eye  coyld  reach  from 
the  north  to  the  south,  heaped  up  in  a  most  terrific 


manner ;  wc  soon  arrived  among  them,  and  were 
struck  with  horror  at  the  sight ; — huge  mountains  of 
loose  sand  piled  up  like  drifted  snow,  towered  two 
hundred  feet  above  our  heads  on  every  side,  and 
seemed  to  threaten  destruction  to  our  whole  party : 
not  a  green,  or  even  a  dry  bush  or  shrub  of  any  kind 
in  view  to  relieve  the  eye; — here  was  no  path  to 
guide  our  footsteps,  nor  had  we  a  compass  to  direct 
our  course,  obstructed  by  these  dreadful  barriers. 
The  trade  winds  which  had  hitherto  given  us  so 
much  relief  on  our  journey,  by  refreshing  our  bodies 
when  heated  by  the  rays  of  an  almost  perpendicu- 
lar sun,  and  which  had  served,  in  some  measure,  to 
direct  our  course — even  these  winds,  which  now 
blew  like  a  tempest,  became  our  formidable  enemy : 
— the  loose  sand  flew  before  its  blasts,  cutting  our 
flesh  like  hail  stones,  and  very  often  covering  us  from 
each  others  sight,  while  the  gusts  (which  followed 
each  other  in  quick  succession)  were  rushing  by. 

We  were  here  obliged  to  dismount,  and  drive  the 
camels  up  the  sandy  steeps  after  our  masters,  who 
went  on  before  to  look  out  a  practicable  passage. 
The  camels,  as  well  as  ourselves,  trod  deep  in  the 
sand,  and  with  great  difficulty  ascended  the  hills; 
but  they  went  down  them  very  easily,  and  frequent- 
ly on  a  long  trot,  following  our  masters.  Sidi 
Hamet,  Seid,  and  Abdallah,  seemed  full  of  appre- 
hensions for  their  own  and  our  safety,  and  were 
very  careful  of  their  camels. 

Thus  we  drove  on  until  dark,  when  coming  to  a 
gpace  where  t]^e  sand  was  not  so  much  heaped  up, 
^eing  like  a  lake  surrounded  by  mountains,  we  saw 


a  few  shrubs  :  here  we  stopped  for  the  night,  un» 
loaded,  and  fettered  our  camels,  whose  appetites 
were  as  keen  apparently  as  ours,  for  they  devoured 
the  few  leaves,  together  with  the  shrubs,  which  were 
as  thick  as  a  man's  linger.  We  next  prepared  a 
kind  of  shelter  with  the  saddles  and  some  sand  for 
our  masters  and  ourselves  to  keep  oif  in  some  mea- 
sure the  fierce  and  chilling  blasts  of  wind,  and  the 
driving  sand  which  pierced  our  sores  and  caused  us 
much  pain.  Having  kindled  a  fire,  our  masters  divided 
the  meat  that  remained  of  the  sheep : — it  was  sweet 
to  our  ta^te,  though  but  a  morsel,  and  we  pounded, 
chewed  and  swallowed  all  the  bones,  and  afterwards 
got  a  drink  of  water  : — then  lying  down  on  the  sand, 
we  had  a  comfortable  night's  sleep,  considering  our 
situation.  I  reckon  we  had  made  thirty-five  miles 
this  day,  having  travelled  about  eight  hours  before 
we  got  among  the  heavy  sand  hills,  at  the  rate  of 
three  miles  an  hour,  and  five  hours  among  the  sand 
hills,  at  the  rate  of  two  miles  an  hour.  We  were 
all  afflicted  with  a  most  violent  diarrhoea,  brought 
on,  no  doubt,  by  excessive  drinking  and  fatigue. 

At  daylight  on  the  morning  of  the  5th,  I  was  or- 
dered to  fetch  the  camels,  and  took  Mr.  Savage  and 
Clark  with  me ;  and  the  two  old  ones  being  fettered, 
that  is,  their  two  fore  legs  being  tied  within  twelve 
inches  of  each  other,  they  could  not  wander  far  ;  w^e 
soon  found  them,  and  I  made  the  one  I  found  kneel 
down,  and  having  taken  olf  its  fetters,  mounted  it 
with  a  good  stick  in  my  hand  for  its  government,  as 
the  Arabs  of  the  desart  use  neither  bridle  nor  halter, 
but  guide  and  drive    them   altogether  with  a  stic-k, 


and   by  words.     Mr.  Savage  having  found  the  bio- 
camel,   took  off  his  fetters,  intending  to  make  him 
kneel  down  in  order  to  get  on  his  back ;   but  the  old 
lame  camel  which  had  hitherto  carried  no  load,  and 
which   had  occasioned  us  much  trouble,  iai  forcing 
him  to  keep  up  with  the  others  when  on  our  march, 
now  set  off  on  a  great  trot  to  the  South  : — the  young 
one  followed  his  example,  so  did  Abdallah's,  and  the 
big  one  started  also,  running  at  their  greatest  speed. 
Seeing  the  panic  of  the  other  camels,  I  endeavoured 
to  stop  them  by  riding  before  them  with  my  camel, 
which  was  the  most  active  and  fleet ;  but  they  woulfl 
not  stop — dodging  me  every  way ;   my  camel  also 
tried  to  ^et  rid  of  its  load  by  running,  jumping,  lying- 
down,  rolling  over  and  striving  to  bite  my  legs ;  but 
I  made  shift  to  get  on  again  before  he  could  rise,  and 
had  got  some  miles  from  where  I  had  started,  keep- 
ing near  and  frequently  before  the  other  camels, 
which  appeared  to  be  very  much   frightened.     Our 
masters  had  watched  us,  and  when  the  camels  set  off, 
had  started  on  a  full  run  after  them ;   but  had  been 
hid  from  my  view  by  the  numerous  sand  hills,  over 
and  among  which  we  passed.     Finding  I  could  not 
stop  the  others,  and  fearing  I  should  be  lost  myself, 
I  stopped  the  one  I  was  on,  and  Sidi  Hamet  soon  cora.- 
ing  in  sight,  called  to  me  to  make  my  camel  lie  down. 
Ho    mounted  it,  and   after  inquiring   which  way  the 
other  camels  went,  (which  were  now  out  of  sight) 
and  telling  me  to  follow  his  tracks  back  to  our  stuff, 
he  set  off  after  them  on  full   speed  ; — Seld  and  Ab- 
dallah  followed  him  on  foot,  running  as  fast  as  pos- 
sible.    I  returned ;  and  picking  up  a  few  skins  that 



had  jolted  off  from  the  little  camel,  I  joined  Mr. 
Savage  and  Clark,  and  we  reached  the  place  where 
we  had  slept,  but  much  fatigued ;  and  here  we  re- 
mained for  two  or  three  hours  before  our  masters 
returned  with  the  camels. 

We  had  during  this  interval  tasted  the  bark  of 
the  roots  of  the  shrubs  which  grew  on  the  sand 
near  us — it  was  bitter,  but  not  ill  flavoured,  and  we 
continued  to  eat  of  it  until  the  runaway  camels 
were  brought  back;  it  entirely  cured  our  diarrhoea. 
They  had  overtaken  the  camels  with  much  difficulty, 
and  tile  creatures  were  covered  with  sweat  and 
sand.  I  expected  we  should  receive  a  flogging  as 
an  atonement  for  our  carelessness  in  letting  the  big 
camel  go,  that  had  beenfettered,  and  in  particular, 
that  Mr.  Savage  would  be  punished,  whom  I  did  not 
doubt  they  had  seen,  when  he  let  his  camel  escape. 
So  as  soon  as  they  got  nigh,  I  began  to  plead  for  him; 
but  it  was  all  to  no  purpose,  for  they  whipped  hira 
with  a  thick  stick  (or  goad)  most  unmercifully.  Mr. 
Savage  did  not  beg  as  I  should  have  done  in  our 
situation,  and  in  a  similar  case,  and  they  believed  he 
had  done  it  expressly  to  give  them  trouble,  and  con- 
tinued to  call  him  Fonte  (i.  e.  a  bad  fellow,)  all  the 
remaining  part  of  the  journey.  Having  settled  this 
affair,  and  put  what  stuff*  they  had  on  the  camels,  we 
mounted  them  and  proceeded, — shaping  our  course, 
as  before,  to  the  E.  N.  E.  as  near  as  the  mountains 
of  sand  would  permit.  It  was  as  late  as  nine  o'clock 
when  we  started,  and  at  eleven,  having  made  about 
three  leagues,  winding  round  the  sand  hills  on  a  trot, 
w«^  were  obliged  to  dismount.     The  hills  now   stood 


SO  thick,  that  great  care  was  necessary  to  prevent 
getting  the  camels  into  an  inextricable  situation  be- 
tween them,  and  our  masters  went  on  a  head,  two  of 
them  at  a  considerable  distance,  to  pick  the  way,  and 
one  to  direct  us  how  to  go; — the  latter  keeping  all 
the  time  in  sight.  The  sand  was  heated  (as  it  had 
been  the  preceding  day)  by  the  rays  of  the  sun,  to  such 
a  degree  that  it'burned  our  feet  and  legs,  so  that  the 
smart  was  more  severe  than  the  pain  we  had  before 
experienced,  from  our  blisters  and  chafing : — it  was 
like  wading  through  glowing  embers. 

During  the  whole  of  this  day,  we  had  looked  for 
shrubs,  or  some  green  thing  to  relieve  the  eye;  but 
not  a  speck  of  verdure  was  to  be  seen.  We  had  no 
food ;  our  water  was  nearly  exhausted,  and  we  saw  no 
sign  of  finding  an  end  to  these  horrid  heaps  of  drift- 
ing sands,  or  of  procuring  any  thing  to  relieve  our 
fatigues  and  sufferings,  which  were  now  really 
intolerable.  We  continued  on  our  route,  however, 
as  near  as  circumstances  would  permit,  E.  N.  E.  until 
about  nine  o'clock  in  the  evening,  and  stopped  to 
rest  among  the  high  and  dreary  sand  heaps,  without 
a  shrub  for  our  camels  to  eat.  I  calculated  we  had 
gone  this  day  from  9  to  1 1  o'clock,  twelve  miles, 
and  from  that  time  till  we  stopped,  about  two  miles 
an  hour,  making  in  all  thirty-two  miles.  We  had 
nothing  to  eat;  our  masters  however  gave  us  a  drink 
of  water,  and  being  fatigued  beyond  description,  we 
soon  sank  down  and  fell  asleep.  I  happened  to 
awake  in  the  night,  and  hearing  a  heavy  roaring  to 
the  northward  of  us,  concluded  it  must  be  a  violent 
gust  of  wind  or  a  hurricane,  that  would  soon  bury  us 


in  the  sand  forever.  I  therefore  immediately  awa- 
kened my  companions,  who  were  more  terrified  at  the 
noise  jeven  than  myself,  for  a  few  moments ;  but 
when  we  perceived  that  the  sound  came  no  nearer, 
I  was  convinced,  (as  the  wind  did  not  increase  )  that 
it  must  be  the  roaring  of  the  sea  against  the  coast 
not  far  otf.  This  Avas  the  first  time  we  had  heard 
the  sea  roar  since  the  10th  of  September ;  and  it 
proved  to  us  that  our  masters  were  going  towards  the 
empire  of  Morocco,  as  they  had  promised.  My 
comrades  were  much  rejoiced  at  being  undeceived 
on  that  subject,  for  they  had  all  along  continued 
to  suspect  the  contrary,  notwithstanding  I  had  con- 
stantly told  them  that  the  courses  we  steered  could 
not  fail  of  bringing  us  to  the  coast.  On  the  sixth, 
early  in  the  morning,  we  started,  and  I  found,  by 
inquiring  of  Sidi  Hamet,  that  our  conjectures  were 
true ;  that  we  were  near  the  sea,  and  that  the  roar- 
ing we  heard  (and  which  still  continued)  was  that  of 
the  surf:  he  added,  "you  will  ^et  no  more  milk," 
which  I  thought  he  regretted  very  much.  We  con- 
tinued on  our  course,  labouring  among  the  sand  hills 
until  noon,  when  we  found,  that  on  our  right,  and 
ahead,  they  became  less  frequent,  but  on  our  left 
there  was  a  string  of  them,  and  very  high  ones, 
stretching  out  as  far  as  the  eye  could  reach.  The 
sand  hills  through  which  we  had  passed  rested  on 
the  same  hard  and  flat  surface  I  have  before  mention- 
ed, without  being  attached  to  it;  for  in  many  places 
it  was  blown  off,  leaving  naked  the  rocks  and  baked 
soil,  between  the  towering  drifts. 

About  noon  we  left  these  high  sands,  and  mounting; 


un  the  camels,  proceeded  along  southward  of  them, 
where  the  sand  was  still  deep,  but  not  high,  on 
about  an  East  course.  Near  this  line  of  sand  hills 
our  masters  discovered  two  camels — they  bore 
about  N.  E.  and  we  made  directly  for  them  as  fast  as 
possible.  On  a  near  approach  we  observed  they 
were  loaded,  and  our  masters  now  took  off  the 
sheaths  from  their  guns  and  primed  them  anew; 
and  upon  coming  near  the  camels,  they  dismounted 
and  made  us  do  the  same.  We  saw  no  human 

The  camels  had  large  sacks  on  their  backs,  made 
of  tent  cloth,  and  well  filled  with  something;  there 
was  also  a  large  earthen  pot  lashed  on  one  of  them, 
and  two  or  three  small  skin  bags.  Seid  and  Ab- 
dallah  drove  these  camels  on  with  ours,  observing 
strict  silence  while  Sidi  Hamet  was  searching  for 
the  owner  of  them  with  his  double  barrelled  gun, 
cocked  and  primed.  Mr.  Savage  was  on  the  young 
camel,  and  not  being  able  to  keep  up,  was  a  mile  or 
more  behind;  when  Sidi  Hamet  found  the  owner  of 
the  canaels  asleep  on  the  sand  near  where  Mr.  Savage 
was.  He  went  towards  him,  keeping  his  gun  in 
readiness  to  fire,  until  he  saw  the  other  had  no 
fire  arms,  and  was  fast  asleep;  when  stepping  care- 
fully up,  he  snatched  a  small  bag  from  near  the 
sleeper's  head,  and  went  slowly  away  with  it  until 
past  the  fear  of  waking  him.  He  then  assisted  in 
driving  Mr.  Savage's  camel  along,  and  they  soon 
came  up  with  us,  where  Seid  and  Abdallah  had 
made  the  two  loaded  camels  lie  down  between  some 
small  hillocks  of  sand.     They  untied  the  mouth  of 


one  of  the  sacks,  and  behold  its  contents  were  bar- 
ley!  This  was  the  first  bread  stuff  we  had  seen,  and 
it  gave  us  new  hopes;  they  poured  out  about  50  pounds 
of  it,  I  should  guess,  and  put  into  a  large  leather  bag  of 
their  own  ;  then  tying  up  the  neck  of  the  sack  again, 
they  made  the  camels  get  up  with  their  loads. 
They  now  began  to  examine  the  contents  of  the 
small  bags,  and  found  them  to  consist  of  a  number 
of  small  articles ;  but  the  one  that  was  taken  from 
near  the  Arab's  head  was  partly  filled  with  barley 
meal.  They  were  all  overjoyed  at  this  discovery, 
and  immediately  poured  out  some  of  it  into  a  bowl; 
mixed  it  with  water,  and  ate  it ;  then  giving  us  about 
a  quart  of  water  between  us,  with  a  handful  of  this 
meal  in  it,  making  a  most  delicious  gruel,  they  hurri- 
ed us  on  to  our  camels,  and  set  off  to  the  S.  E.  on  a 
long  trot,  leaving  the  strange  camels  to  themselves. 

We  had  not  proceeded  more  than  half  an  hour, 
before  we  saw  a  man  running  swiftly  in  chase 
of  us,  and  hallooing  to  make  our  masters  stop ;  they 
knew  he  must  be  the  owner  of  the  camels  they  had 
robbed,  and  paid  no  other  attention  to  him  than  to 
push  on  the  camels  faster.  Sidi  Hamet  now  told 
me  that  that  fellow  was  a  "  poor  devil — he  has  not 
even  a  musket,"  said  he  "and  he  let  me  take  this  bag 
while  he  was  asleep."  The  man  gained  on  us  very 
fast.  I  was  afraid  he  would  get  back  what  had  been 
taken  from  him  by  our  masters,  especially  the  bar- 
ley— so  were  my  shipmates;  one  of  whom  wished 
he  had  a  loaded  musket — saying,  "  I  would  soon  stop 
him  if  I  had  one,  and  thus  save  the  barley."  Our- 
masters  madd  their  signs   for  this  man  to  go  back, 


buthe  continued  to  advance,  while  our  Arab  masters; 
iinding  he  would  come  up,  kept  their  guns  cocked 
in  their  hands,  and  ready  to  fire  on  him,  though  he 
had  no  other  arms  than  a  scimitar;  and  drawing 
near  they  halted,  upon  which  the  stranger  making 
an  appeal  to  God  and  bowing  himself  down  and 
worshipping,  declared  that  he  had  lost  a  part  of 
his  property,  and  that  he  knew  they  must  have  taken 
it;  that  he  was  their  brother,  and  would  rather  die 
than  commit  a  bad  action,  or  suffer  others  to  do  it 
with  impunity:  "  you  have  fire-arms"  (Celibeatahsy 
said  he,  "and  believe  you  can  kill  me  in  an  instant; 
but  the  God  of  justice  is  my  shield,  and  will  protect 
the  innocent;  I  do  not  fear  you."  Sidi  Hamet  then 
told  him  to  leave  his  scimitar  where  he  was,  and 
approach  without  fear,  and  then  making  our  camels 
kneel  down,  we  all  dismounted.  The  stranger 
upon  this  came  forward  and  asked — "  is  it  peace  ?" 
— "  it  is,"  was  the  reply  of  Sidi  Hamet ;  they  then 
saluted  each  other  with — "peace  be  with  you — peace 
be  to  your  house — to  all  your  friends,"  &c.  &c.  and 
shaking  one  another  in  a  most  cordial  manner  by 
the  hand,  seated  themselves  in  a  circle  on  the 
ground.  After  a  long  debate,  in  which  our  masters 
justified  themselves  for  having  taken  the  provision 
without  leave,  because  we,  their  slaves,  were  in  a 
state  of  starvation,  which  was  very  true,  thej 
added — "  you  would  not  have  refused  them  a  morsel, 
if  you  had  been  awake !"  and  it  was  thereupon 
finally  agreed,  to  restore  all  that  they  had  taken  : 
so  they  made  us  clear  a  place  on  the  ground  that 
was  hard,  and  pour  out  the  barley  from   our   bag- 

144  <^APTA1N    RILEy's  NARRATIVE. 

They  also  gave  hum  up  his  bag  of  meal,  which  hati 
been  much  lightened,  and  a  very  small  bag,  which  I 
supposed  to  contain  opium;  this  they  said  was  all 
they  had  taken : — then  after  they  had  prayed  to- 
gether, we  ajl  mounted  our  camels  and  proceeded  on 
our  journey.  Religion  and  honour  even  among 
thieves,  thought  I ! 

CHAP.  xin. 

Continuation  of  the  Journey  on  the  Dcsart — several  sin- 
gular occurrences — they  conie  within  sight  of  the  Ocean. 

This  had  detained  us  about  an  hour;  Mr.  Savage 
w^s  put  on  the  old  camel,  which  still  continued  very 
lame,  and  Horace  on  the  smallest.  These  camels 
could  not  keep  pace  with  the  others,  and  both  Mr. 
Savage  and  Horace  were  severely  flogged  for  what 
0ur  masters  called  bad  management :  though  the 
true  reason  I  suspected  was  the  loss  of  the  stolen 
barley,  which  had  put  them  in  a  bad  humour.  We 
kept  on  to  the  East  as  fast  as  the  camels  could  go, 
"until  late  in  the  evening,  when  hearing  the  voices  of 
men  hallooino-  to  each  other,  at  a  short  distance  on 
our  left,  our  masters  seemed  much  frightened;  kept 
all  still;  and  finding  a  deep  hollow,  we  silently  de- 
scended its  steep  bank,  leaving  our  litUe  camel  with 
his  legs  tied,  on  the  level  above,  as  he  was  so  far 
worn  down  by  fatigue  that  he  could  scarcely  walk. 
When  we  got  to  the  bottom  of  it,  we  found  a  consid- 
erable number  of  small  bushes,   and  having  taken 


the  saddles  from  off  the  camels  and  fettered  their 
fore  legs  together,  as  usual,  we  let  them  go  to  feed. 
J  calculate  we  travelled  seven  hours  this  day,  at  two 
miles  an  hour,  among  the  sand  hills;  then  two  hours 
on  camels,  until  we  came  to  the  strange  ones,  at  the 
rate  of  six  miles  an  hour,  including  two  stops,  say  two 
hours;  then  from  four  until  about  10  P.  M.  six 
hours  at  five  miles  an  hour — total  this  day,  fifty-six 

As  soon  as  the  camels  were  fettered,  our  masters 
examined  their  guns,  and  having  ascertained  that 
they  were  well  primed — ascended  the  sand  hills  in 
this  valley,  (for  there  was  much  drifted  sand  about 
it  in  scattering  heaps,  and  it  appeared  to  have  once 
been  a  river,  whose  bed  was  now  dry.)  They  bade 
us  all  follow  them,  and  went  first  to  the  lowest  part 
of  the  valley;  then  ascending  the  steep  sides  of  the 
sand  drifts,  made  us  crawl  after  them  on  our  hands 
and  knees.  After  they  had  gained  the  top,  and 
waiting  for  us  to  climb  up,  they  set  up  the  most 
tremendous  howling  I  had  ever  before  heard — one 
counterfeiting  the  tone  of  a  tiger,  the  other  the  roar 
of  a  lion,  and  the  third  the  sharp  frightful  yell  of  a 
famished  wolf.  Having  kept  up  this  concert  for 
some  time,  they  again  proceeded,  mounting  and  de- 
scending, and  searching  for  tracks,  &;c. 

I  was  much  terrified,  I  confess,  and  expected  they 
were  hunting  for  the  people  we  had  heard  halloo 
when  we  entered  the  valley,  to  rob  and  murder 
them,  and  that  we  were  to  share  their  danger,  and 
carry  their  spoil.  But  after  they  had  kept  us  mount- 
ing and  descending  about  two  hours,  they  found  a 


snug  retreat,  surrounded  on  all  sides  by  high  sand 
drifts,  where  however  a  few  small  bushes  were 
growing:  thej  made  us  lie  down  in  the  deep  sand, 
and  after  continuing  their  bowlings  for  about  half 
an  hour,  bade  us  go  to  sleep,  which  we  much  needed, 
as  our  fatigues  were  excessive :  they  had  not  suf- 
fered us  to  make  the  least  noise  since  we  reached  the 
valley — nor  did  they  themselves  make  any,  except  in 
imitation  of  wild  ferocious  beasts.  I  was  now  fully  per- 
suaded that  they  were  actuated,  by  feehngs  of  fear 
and  not  views  of  plunder  in  these  manoeuvres ;  and 
taking  a  station  with  their  guns  in  their  hands  around 
us,  as  if  afraid  they  should  lose  their  slaves,  we  soon 
forgot  our  troubles  in  the  arms  of  sleep,  and  did  not 
awake  until  the  morning  of  the  seventh,  when  we 
repaired  to  our  camels  and  found  every  thing  safe. 
There  were  more  camels,  which  we  saw  in  the  open 
valley,  browsing  upon  the  bushes,  which  grew  high- 
er here  than  any  we  had  hitherto  seen ;  they  were 
of  a  different  species,  and  not  clothed  with  long- 

Just  as  we  were  ready  to  set  off  on  our  journey, 
an  old  woman  and  a  boy  came  where  we  were ;  the 
woman  appeared  very  friendly,  made  inquiries  re- 
specting our  situation,  and  if  our  masters  as  well  as 
ourselves  were  not  hungry;  and  finding  that  we 
were  indeed  in  want  of  food,  she  sent  off  her  boy, 
who  soon  returned  with  the  boiled  remains  of  what 
I  conceived  to  have  been  a  sheep  or  goat,  consisting 
of  the  entrails  and  a  few  bones;  of  these  our  mas- 
ters ate  the  greatest  part,  but  gave  us  the  remain- 
(Jer — that  is  to  say,  the  bones,  which  we  were  very 

SUFFERmCS    IN    AFRICA.  1,47 

glad  to  get,  bare  as  they  were,  for  our  hunger  was 

Having  gnawed  and  swallowed  this  hard  food, 
and  drank  about  half  a  pint  of  water  each,  coloured 
with  sour  milk,  which  the  old  woman  kindly  gave  us, 
we  proceeded  on  our  journey,  mounting  this  dry  ri- 
ver's bed  or  gully,  which  had  been  acted  upon  by  wa- 
ter at  no  very  remote  period.  We  here  saw  the  first 
bushes  that  deserved  that  name,  since  we  had  been 
on  this  continent.  They  appeared  to  be  of  the  wil- 
low kind,  some  of  them  as  large  as  a  man's  leg,  and 
about  fifteen  feet  in  height.  It  was  with  much  diffi- 
culty the  camels  could  ascend  this  bank,  but  when 
we  did  reach  its  summit,  we  found  ourselves  on  the 
same  level  desart  as  we  had  before  travelled  on;  our 
view  on  every  side  was  bounded  only  by  the  distant 
horizon,  except  on  our  left,  where  a  long  string  of 
sand-drifts  of  great  height  intercepted  it.  Near 
these  sand  hills  we  discovered  a  man  mounted  on  a 
camel ;  he  rode  swiftly  towards  us,  which  our  masters 
observing,  while  he  was  yet  a  great  way  off,  dis- 
mounted from  their  camels  to  wait  his  approach. 
Myself  and  Mr.  Savage  were  on  foot,  making  the 
best  of  our  way  along.  We  saw  our  masters  dig 
holes  in  the  sand,  and  bury  two  small  bags  which 
they  had  stolen  from  the  stranger  the  day  before,  at 
the  time  they  helped  themselves  to  the  barley.  The 
man  on  his  camel  soon  came  up,  and  we  recognized 
him  as  the  same  our  masters  had  plundered  ;  he  had 
followed  us  on,  and  now  told  them  they  had  stolen 
kis  goods  and  deceived  him  besides. 

Our  masters  denied  the  charge,  and  after  show- 


ing  him  that  they  had  nothing  about   them  of  the 
kind  he  described,  told  him  to  satisfy  himself  fully, 
and  to  go  and  search  their  stuff  on  the  camels;  pro- 
testing at  the  same  time  that  he  accused  them  wrong- 
fully, and  calling  God  to  witness  that  they  had  noth- 
ing of  his  in  their  possession.     The  man  seemed  sa- 
tisfied with  their  protestations,  and  rode  off  without 
further  examination.     We  were  going  on  during  this 
time,  and  they  remained  on  the  spot  to  dig  up  the 
treasure  after  its  owner  had  left  them.     When  they 
came  up  with  us,  Sidi  Hamet  said  to  me,  "  that  fel- 
low wanted  his  bags  and  things,  but  he  has  not  got 
them  yet :"  he   then  showed  me  the  bags  and  their 
contents.    There  was  a  small  box  in  one  of  the  bags^ 
containing  opium  and  several  hollow  sticks   of  the 
thickness  of  a  man's  finger,  and   six  or  eight  inches 
long ;  these  were  filled  with  what  I  supposed  to  be 
gold  dust;    the  other  bag  contained  tobacco  stalks, 
and  the  roots  of  an  herb,  which  I  afterwards  under- 
stood to  be  a  specific  remedy  for  evil  eyes^  or  witch- 
craft ;  this  they  esteemed  as  of  great  value,  even  more 
than  the  gold  dust  and   opium  :  the  natives  smoke 
this  root  through   the  leg  or  thigh  bone  of  a  sheep 
or  goat,  they  having  no  other  pipes,  and  then  conceit 
themselves  invulnerable.     I  confess  I  was  not  much 
pleased  at  the  discovery  of  our  masters'  propensity 
to  thieving,  and  could  not  help  being  apprehensive 
of  the  consequences   that    might  result  from   such 
licentiousness,  affecting  our  safety  and  prospects  of 
release.      We   travelled  fast  most  of  this  day,  and 
must  have  made  thirty-five  miles  on  about  an  E.  N. 
E.  course.   It  was  late  when  we  stopped  for  the  night ; 

SOFFEHIiVGS      IN    AFRICA;  149 

■-we  were  on  a  hard  surface,  and  had  neither  shrub, 
nor  indeed  any  other  thing  to  fend  off  the  cold  night 
wind,  which  blew  extremely  fierce  from  the  N. 
N.  E. 

October  the  8th,  we  started  very  early  and  rode 
on  rapidly  until    the  afternoon,  when   some  camels' 
tracks  were  discovered,  at  which  our  masters  seemed 
very  much  rejoiced,  for  they  were  extremely  hungry 
and  thirsty.     We  followed  these  tracks  until  about 
four  P.  M.  (they  being  nearly  on  our  course)  when' 
we  came  in  sight  of  a  large  drove  of  camels  feeding 
on  the  scattered  shrubbery  in  a  small  shallow  valley, 
with  a  few  sheep  and  goats,  which  were  nibbling  a 
short  brown  moss,  not  more  than  an  inch  in  height, 
that  grew  round  about  in  spots.     After  due  saluta- 
tions, which  were  very  long  and  tedious,  the  owners 
@f  the  flocks  and  herds  invited  our  masters  to  remain 
ivith  them  for  the  night,  which  may  well  be  supposed 
was  readily  accepted  ;   we  having  travelled  this  day 
about  forty-five  miles.      They  showed   our  masters 
the  way  to  their  tents,  who,  after  bidding  us  follow, 
set  off  for  them  on  a  full  trot :  we  reached  them  in 
about  half  an  hour;  there  were  about  twenty  in  num- 
ber— pitched  in  a  little  valley  near  a  small  thicket  of 
thorn  trees.     I  call  them  trees,  because  they  were 
much  larger  than  any  vegetable  productions  we  had 
yet  seen  in  this  country — a  few  of  them  might  be 
eight  inches  in  diameter.     Our  masters  had  already 
killed  a  kid  they  had  bought,  and  were  employed  in 
.dressing  it :  which  being  prepared  and  boiled  soon 
after  dark,  our  masters  gave  us  the  entrails,  which 
we  ririmediately  devoured,  though  not  cleaned,  and 


nearly  raw,  as  we  had  not  patience  to  wait  till  they 
were  roasted  sufficiently ;  they  then  otfered  some  of 
the  meat  to  the  Arabs,  who  were  sitting  around  them 
on  the  ground,  but  as  they  only  came  to  gratify  their 
curiosity  in  viewing  us,  they  did  not  accept  of  any. 
This  was  the  first  time  I  had  known  any  of  them 
refuse  so  tempting  an  oifer;  and  I  could  not  but 
consider  it  as  a  favourable  omen,  and  that  the  land 
was  becoming  more  fertile  and  productive  as  we  ad- 
vanced on  our  journey,  and  that  we  must  shortly 
escape   from  this  horrible  desart. 

After  we  had  swallowed  our  morsel,  these  people 
save  each  of  us  a  o-ood  drink  of  water,  and  at  mid- 
night  (the  hour  set  apart  by  the  Arabs  for  taking 
their  refreshment)  they  awaked  me  and  gave  me  a 
bowl,  containing  probably  four  or  five  pounds  of  a 
kind  of  stirabout,  or  hasty  pudding,  in  the  centre  of 
which,  in  a  hole  made  for  the  purpose,  there  was 
poured  a  pint  or  more  of  good  sweet  milk: — we 
quickly  seated  ourselves  in  a  circle  around  the  bowl, 
and  though  it  was  quite  hot,  we  swallowed  it  in  a 
moment.  This  was  the  most  delicious  food  I  ever 
tasted  ;  the  effect  it  produced  on  my  palate  has  never 
since  been  effaced  from  my  memory,  and  my  com- 
panions agreed  with  me,  that  nothing  half  so  sweet 
had  ever  before  entered  their  mouths ;  and  as  we 
all  took  it  up  with  our  hands,  each  one  accused  the 
other  of  eating  like  a  hog,  and  of  devouring  more 
than  his  equal  share,  t  endeavoured  to  convince  them 
that  it  could  not  be  more  equally  divided,  as  each 
put  his  hand  to  his  mouth  as  fast  as  he  could. 
Notwithstanding  every  one,  by  the  irresistible   im* 

Sl^FFERINGS    hV    AFRICA.  li)l 

patience  of  hunger,  burnt  his  mouth  and  throat,  yet 
this  dish  was  unspeakably  grateful :  for  hunger,  suf- 
ferings and  fatigue  had  absolutely  reduced  us  to 
skeletons  :  it  warmed  our  stomachs,  and  checked 
the  dysentery,  which  had  been  extremely  distressing 
for  several  days  past.  This  was  the  first  kind  of 
bread  we  had  tasted  since  we  left  the  wreck. 

Our  masters  had  been  very  much  out  of  humour 
(probably  owing  to  hunger)  for  several  days,  and 
beat  my  shipmates  oftentimes  most  unmercifully,  who, 
in  their  turn,  smarting  under  the  lash,  and  suffering 
incredibly  from  their  sores,  fatigues  and  privations, 
became  as  cross  as  wild  bears,  notwithstanding  I  did  all 
in  my  power  to  lighten  their  burdens,  relieve  their 
fatigues,  and  intercede  for  and  beg  them  off  when 
our  masters  were  about  to  beat  them,  and  frequently 
walking  that  they  might  ride;  yet  one  of  them  would 
often  curse  me  to  my  face,  and  load  me  with  the  most 
opprobrious  epithets.  My  kindness  seemed  but  to 
inflame  his  petulence,  and  to  excite  in  him  a  strange 
animosity,  so  that  in  the  raving  of  his  distempered 
imagination,  he  declared  that  he  hated  the  sight  of 
me,  and  that  my  very  smiles  were  more  cutting  to 
him  than  daggers  presented  to  his  naked  breast; 
he  seemed  indeed  to  be  transformed  into  a  perfect 
savage  in  disposition,  nor  did  this  rankling  humour 
forsake  him  until  I  showed  him  in  Siize  a  letter  I 
there  received  from  Mr.  Willshire,  assuring  me  he 
would  shortly  redeem  us  from  slavery. 

Early  on  the  morning  of  the  9th,  we  set  forward 
in  a  N.  Easterly  direction,  and  having  travelled 
about  ten  hours  on  the  camels,  at  the  rate  o{  four 


miles  an  hour,  we  came  to  a  deep  well,  situated  i8 
the  midst  of  a  cluster  of  higli  bushes ;  here  was  a 
large  company  of  men  watering  many  droves  of 
camels  that  were  round  about.  These  people  salu- 
ted our  masters  in  a  friendly  manner,  when  they 
c-ame  up.  I  was  preparing  to  assist  in  drawing 
water  for  our  camels,  but  Sidi  Hamet  would  not 
permit  me  or  my  companions  to  work ;  indeed  we 
were  so  extremely  reduced  and  weak,  that  we  could 
not  without  difficulty  stand  steady  on  our  feet,  though 
(from  what  cause  I  know  not)  our  sores  were  fast 
healing,  and  our  skins  uniting  in  all  parts  over  our 

While  Seid  and  Abdallah  were  busied  in  drawing 
water  for  our  camels,  an  Arab  came  up  with  one, 
and  led  him  to  our  masters'  watering  tub  or  bowl, 
which  Seid  observing,  bade  him  desist;  but  the 
strange  Arab  swore  his  camel  should  drink  there, 
and  he  (Seid)  should  draw  water  for  him.  This 
kindled  the  resentment  of  Seid;  he  left  his  bucket, 
ran  up  to  the  Arab,  and  gave  him  a  heavy  blow  on 
his  face  with  his  fist,  which  staggered  him  near  to 
falling;  but  recovering  himself,  he  drew  his  scimitar^ 
and  made  a  powerful  thrust  at  Seid,  who  saved  his 
life  by  springing  suddenly  from  him,  and  the  scimitar 
but  slightly  pricked  his  breast.  Sidi  Hamet  had  by 
this  time  seized  and  unsheathed  his  gun,  and  present- 
ed it  to  the  Arab's  breast  within  a  yard's  distance, 
ready  to  blow  him  through.  When  he  was  about 
to  fire,  his  hand  was  seized  by  one  of  the  bystanders, 
and  others  of  them  rushing  between  the  conibatants 
t'p  prevent  bloodiihed.  laid  hold  f»f  Spld  and  his  antag- 


enist,  and  having  separated  them  bj  main  force,  they 
removed  the  Arab  to  the  other  side  of  the  well, 
where  some  of  the  company  drew  water  for  his 
camel,  which  having  drank  its  fill,  they  sent  the  fellow 
off,  muttering  curses  as  he  went  away.  Our  masters, 
during  all  this  time,  were  so  exasperated  at  the  con- 
duct of  this  man,  that  nothing  less  than  the  strength 
of  superior  numbers  would  have  prevented  them 
from  putting  him  to  death,  and  all  the  company 
agreed  that  they  had  been  grossly  insulted,  especially 
as  they  were  strangers. 

When  our  camels  had  finished   drinking  at  this 
well,  the  water  of  which  was  very  brackish,  we  were 
mounted,  and  proceeded  further  east  for  about  one 
hour's  ride,  where  we  found  two  more  wells,  which 
appeared   to  have   been   lately  dug,  and  the  water 
they  contained  was  very  salt.     Here  was   a  large 
drove   of    camels    (probably  one    hundred)   to    be 
watered,  and  they  obliged  me  to  assist   in   drawing 
water  until  they  had  all  finished  ;  my  master  encour- 
aging me,  by  saying,  "  their  owner  was  a  very  good 
man,  and  would  give  us  food."     It  was  about  sunset 
when  we  had   finished   drawing  water,  and  we  fol- 
lowed the  valley  in  which   we  were  for  about  three 
miles  east,  when  we  came  to   the  tent  we  had  been 
in  quest  of:  here   was  no  lee   to   keep  off  the  cold 
wind,  nor  did  we  get  any  thing  to  eat,  notwithstand- 
ing our  masters  had  praised  the  liberality  of    our 
host,  and  tried  by  every  means  to  obtain  some  pro- 
visions from  him.     I  soon  found   his   goodness   was 
like  that  of  many  others;  (i.  e.)  he  was   no  longer 


liberal  than    while  there  was   a   prospect  of  profit, 
I  presume  we  travelled  forty-five  miles  this  day. 

As  soon  as  daylight  appeared  on  the  morning  ol 
the  10th,  we  set  forward,  all  mounted  on  the  camels, 
and  kept  on  steadily  until  night  over  this  most 
dreary  desart,  and  came  to  a  halt  long  after  dark, 
without  any  thing  to  keep  off  the  wind,  which  was 
blowing  a  strong  gale.  We  travelled  this  day  about 
thirteen  hours,  at  four  miles  an  hour;  as  the  camels 
went  all  day  on  a  quick  walk,  we  must  have  made 
at  least  fifty-two  miles  E.  N.  E. 

Oct.  the  11th,  we  set  off  very  early  on  a  full 
trot,  and  went  on  until  about  noon,  seven  hours,  at 
six  miles  an  hour,  when  the  land  before  us  appeared 
broken,  and  we  descended  gradually  into  a  deep 
valley,  whose  bottom  was  covered  with  sand ;  and 
on  both  sides  of  us,  at  a  great  distance,  we  saw  very 
high  and  steep  banks  like  those  of  a  river,  and  fol- 
lowed the  tongue  of  land  that  separated  them.  Our 
course  was  nearly  East.  At  about  two  P.  M.  our 
masters  said  they  saw  camels  ahead,  but  ive  could 
not  perceive  them  for  a  long  time  after,  when  keep- 
ing on  a  great  trot,  we  came  up  with  a  drove  about 
six  P.  M.  We  could  however  find  no  owners,  nor  in 
fact  any  human  being;  for  all  had  fled  and  hid  them- 
selves, probably  from  fear  of  being  robbed,  or  that 
contributions  might  be  levied  on  their  charity  for 
some  provisions.  We  searched  some  time  for  the 
owners  of  these -camels,  but  not  finding  them,  we 
continued  on,  and  having  come  to  the  abrupt  end  of 
the  tongue  of  land  on  which  we  had  been  travelling, 
we  descended  into  the  river's  bed,  which  was  dry  and 


5oft.  Pushing  forward,  we  reached  a  large  cluster  of 
bushes,  which  appeared  like  an  island  in  a  lake,  when 
seen  at  a  distance,  and  I  suppose  it  was  ten  o'clock 
at  night  before  we  arrived  at  the  spot,  though  we 
saw  it  in  the  distant  horizon  long  before  dark.  As 
we  entered  among  the  bushes,  our  masters  preserved 
a  profound  silence;  and  having  found  a  clear  spot  of 
about  twenty  yards  in  diameter,  encircled  by  high 
bushes,  which  kept  off  the  wind,  we  stopped  there 
for  the  night;  having  travelled  that  day  for  the 
space  of  about  fourteen  hours,  at  the  rate  of  five  miles 
an  hour,  making  a  distance  of  seventy  miles.  We 
had  nothing  this  niglit  wherewith  to  allay  our  hun- 
ger; our  fatigues  and  sufferings  may  be  more  easily 
conceived  than  expressed;  yet  as  we  were  sheltered 
from  the  night  winds,  we  slept  very  soundly  until 
we  were  roused  up  to  continue  our  journey. 

On  the  12th  of  October,  as  soon  as  daylight 
appeared,  we  watered  the  camels  at  a  well  of  brack- 
ish water  near  the  bushes  before  mentioned.  Our 
masters  had  been  careful  not  to  make  the  least  noise 
during  the  night,  nor  to  kindle  a  fire,  fearing  they 
should  be  discovered  and  surprised  by  some  more 
powerful  party;  but  neither  foe  nor  friend  appeared; 
and  having  filled  a  skin  with  some  of  this  brackish 
water,  we  descended  a  second  steep  bank  to  the  bot- 
tom, or  lowest  part  of  this  river's  bed,  which  was 
then  dry,  sandy,  and  encrusted  with  salt;  it  ap- 
peared very  white,  and  crumbled  under  the  feet  of 
our  camels,  making  a  loud  crackling  noise.  The 
reasons  of  this  bed  being  then  without  water,  ap- 
peared to  be   the  recess  of  the  tide :  its   left  bank 

156  Captain  riLey's  narrative. 

rose  very  high  in  perpendicular  cliffs,  while  its  right 
was  sloping  and  covered  with  sand,  evidently  blown 
by  the  winds  from  the  sea  beach,  and  which  lay  in 
drifts  up  to  its  very  summit.  This  bay  (for  it  can 
be  nothing  else)  ran  into  the  land  from  near  a  S.  ^/V' . 
to  a  West  direction,  and  was  not  more  than  eight  of 
ten  miles  wide  here,  which  I  afterwards  found  was 
near  its  mouth,  but  was  very  broad  within,  and  ex- 
tended a  great  distance  into  the  country ;  for  since 
we  entered  its  former  bed  we  had  travelled  twelve 
hours,  at  the  rate  of  five  miles  an  hour,  making 
sixty  miles,  and  it  then  extended  farther  than  the 
eye  could  reach  to  the  S.  W. 

The  steeu  banks  on  both  sides,  which  were  four  or 
five  hundred  feet  high,  showed  most  evident  signs  of 
their  having  been  washed  by  sea  water  from  their 
base  to  near  their  summits,  (but  at  a  very  remote 
period)  and  that  the  sea  had  gradually  retired  from 
them.  Our  masters  being  in  a  state  of  starvation, 
their  ill  humour  increased  exceedingly,  when  about 
nine  o'clock  in  the  forenoon  we  saw  two  men,  driving 
two  camels,  come  down  the  sand  hills  on  our  right. 
Our  masters  rode  off  to  meet  them,  and  having  made 
the  necessary  inquiries,  returned  to  us,  who  had 
continued  going  forward,  accompanied  by  Abdallah. 
Sidi  Hamet  informed  us  that  there  were  goats  in  an 
E.  S.  E.  direction  not  far  distant,  and  that  we  should 
soon  have  some  meat;  so  we  commenced  climbing 
over  the  high  hills  of  sand,  in  order  that  we  might 
fall  in  with  them.  In  ascending  these  hills,  which 
"were  extremely  difficult  and  long,  our  old  lame 
camel  gave  out,  having  fallen  down  several   times, 


which  caused  ranch  delay;  so  findmg  him  nearly 
expiring,  we  abandoned  him  and  proceeded  on; 
though  this  circumstance  of  losing  the  camel,  also 
helped  to  increase  the  rage  of  our  masters,  who 
now  behaved  like  madmen.  As  we  were  climbing 
up,  we  perceived  a  hole  dug  in  the  sand,  and  we  were 
told  that  the  entrails  of  a  camel  had  been  roasted 
there,  which  Seid  discovered  by  applying  his  nose 
to  the  surrounding  earth.  Sidi  Hamet  having  gone 
on  before  us  with  his  gun,  we  had  already  ascended 
several  miles  of  this  steep  and  sandy  bank,  and  on 
arriving  near  the  level  of  the  surrounding  country, 
we  heard  the  report  of  a  musket  fired,  at  no  great 
distance  from  where  we  were,  and  soon  perceived 
Sidi  Hamet,  accompanied  by  another  Arab,  driving 
a  flock  of  goats  before  them.  This  Arab  was  much 
intimidated  at  the  sight  and  report  of  a  gun,  for  my 
master  had  fired  off  one  of  the  barrels  to  frighten 
him.  When  the  goats  came  near  us,  our  masters, 
who  considered  possession  as  a  \ery  important  pre- 
liminary, ran  in  among  the  flock,  and  seized  four  of 
them,  which  they  gave  into  our  charge,  until  they 
should  settle  about  the  price  with  their  oAvner,  who 
was  alone  and  unarmed,  but  at  this  moment  he  was 
joined  by  his  wife: — she  had  not  been  at  all  fright- 
ened, and  commenced  scolding  at  our  masters  most 
immoderately  and  loudly : — she  said,  she  would 
not  consent  to  part  with  the  goats,  even  if  her  hus- 
band did,  and  insisted  on  knowing  Sidi  Hamet's  name: 
this  he  told  her,  and  she  then  began  to  tantalize 
him  for  being  so  cowardly  as  to  rob  an  unarmed 
»an;  said  the  whole  country  should  ring  with  his 


name  and  actions,  and  she  did  not  doubt  but  slie 
could  find  some  man  who  would  revenge  this  inju- 
ry— her  husband  all  this  time  strove  to  stop  her 
tongue,  but  to  no  purpose;  nor  did  she  cease  scold- 
ing until  Seid  presented  his  gun  to  her  breast,  and 
threatened  her,  if  she  spoke  another  word,  to  blow 
her  to  pieces.  This  compelled  her  to  pause  a  mo- 
ment, while  our  masters  (taking  advantage  of  her 
silence)  informed  them  that  he  had  left  a  good 
camel  a  little  distance  behind,  which  being  only 
tired,  could  not  proceed  with  them,  and  that  he 
would  crive  them  this  camel  in  exchan2:e  for  these  four 
goats.  I  could  plainly  discover,  however,  that  these 
people  did  not  believe  him.  Sidi  Haniet  nevertheless 
spoke  the  truth  in  part;  a  camel  was  indeed  left  be- 
hind, but  not  a  good  one;  yet  as  there  was  no 
alternative,  they  were  necessitated  to  submit ;  the 
woman  however  insisted  on  exchanscinix  one  o-oat  w^e 
had  for  another,  which  our  masters  assented  to,  mere- 
ly to  gratify  her  caprice. 

This  business  being  thus  settled,  which  had  taken 
up  nearly  an  hours  time,  our  goats  were  tied  fast  to 
each  other  by  their  necks,  and  given  into  my  charge  ; 
leaving  Mr.  Savage  and  Horace  to  assist  in  dri- 
viniT  them.  Clark  and  Burns  were  ordered  to  drive 
the  camels,  \yhilst  our  masters,  a  little  less  fretful 
than  before,  went  forward  to  pick  out  a  practicable 
passage  for  them  and  the  goats,  while  my  party 
brought  up  the  rear.  The  goats  were  difficult  to 
manajre,  but  we  continued  to  drive  them  alons:,  and 
generally  within  sight  of  the  camels,  though  with 
Sfreat  fatig-ue  and  exertion.     Our  huni^er  and  thirst 

SUFFERINGS    I2i    AFRICA.  159 

were  excessive — the  direct  heat  of  the  sun,  as  well 
as  that  reflected  from  the  deep  and  yielding  sands, 
was  intense.  Mr.  Savage  found  here  a  very  short 
green  weed,  which  he  pulled  and  ate,  telling  me  it  was 
most  delicious,  and  as  sweet  as  honey,  but  I  begged 
him  not  to  swallow  any  of  it  until  I  should  ask  our 
masters  what  was  the  nature  of  it,  for  it  might  be 
poison ;  and  I  refused  to  touch  it  myself,  though  it 
looked  tempting.  In  our  distressed  condition,  how- 
ever, he  thought  a  crieen  thins:  that  tasted  so  well 
could  do  him  no  harm,  and  continued  to  eat  whatever 
he  could  find  of  it,  which  (happily  for  him)  was  not 
much ;  but  in  a  short  time  he  was  convinced  to  the 
contrary,  for  he  soon  began  to  vomit  violently  : — this 
alarmed  me  for  his  safety,  and  I  examined  the  weed 
he  had  been  so  delighted  with,  and  after  a  close  in- 
vestigation, I  was  convinced  it  was  no  other  than 
what  is  called  in  America  the  Indian  tobacco.  Its 
effects  were  also  similar;  but  how  these  plants  came 
to  grow  on  those  sands  I  cannot  conceive. 

Mr.  Savage  continued  to  vomit  by  spells  for  two 
hours  or  more,  which,  as  he  had  very  little  in  his 
stomach,  strained  it  so  excessively  as  to  bring  forth 
blood.  I  could  not  wait  for  him,  because  both  our 
masters,  their  camels,  and  our  shipmates,  were  al- 
ready out  of  sight.  When  he  could  proceed  no  fur- 
ther, he  would  stop  and  vomit,  and  then  by  running 
(though  in  great  distress)  as  fast  as  he  was  able, 
come  up  with  us  again.  I  encouraged  him  all  f 
could — told  him  what  the  herb  was,  and  that  its  ef- 
fects need  not  be  dreaded. 

Ever  since  we  had  been  coming  near  the  summit 


of  the  land,  we  had  discerned  the  sea ;  though  at  a 
great  distance  ahead  and  on  our  left,  but  as  it  ap- 
peared dark  and  smooth  in  the  distant  horizon,  I 
supposed  it  to  be  an  extensive  ridge  of  high  wood- 
land, and  hoped  we  should  soon  reach  it,  as  our 
course  bent  that  way,  and  that  this  would  prove  to 
be  the  termination  of  the  desart.  Horace,  however, 
thought  it  appeared  too  dark  and  smooth  for  land, 
and  regarding  it  again  attentively,  I  discovered  it 
was  in  fact  the  ocean,  and  I  could  plainly  distinguish 
its  mountainous  waves  as  they  rolled  along,  for  it 
was  greatly  agitated  by  fierce  winds.  This  was  the 
first  view  we  had  had  of  the  sea  since  we  were  made 
slaves :  it  was  a  highly  gratifying  sight  to  us  all, 
and  particularly  so,  as  it  was  quite  unexpected  ;  and 
it  very  much  revived  the  spirits  of  myself  and  de- 
sponding companions. 


Tj'hey  travel  along  the  sea-coast  under  high  banks — -fall 
in  with  and  join  a  company  of  Arabs — travel  in  the 
night  for  fear  of  robbers — Mr.  Savage  faints- — is 
near  being  massacred^  and  rescued  by  the  author. 

Discerning  the  tracks  of  our  camels,  which  we 
had  lost  sight  of  for  a  time,  as  they  had  crossed 
over  rocks,  where  they  had  descended  through  a 
rent  or  chasm,  partly  covered  with  high  drifts  of 
loose  sand  towards  the  sea-shore,  we  followed  them 
down  immensely  steep  sand   hills,  to  a  tolerably  in- 


clined  plane,  between  the  first  and  second  banks  of 
the  sea  ;  which,  from  appearances,  had  once  washed 
the  upper  bank,  but  had  long  since  retired : — the 
inclined  plane  had  also  been  a  beach  for  ages, 
where  the  stones,  that  now  covered  its  surface,  had 
been  tossed  and  rounded,  by  striking  against  one 

From  this  beach  the  ocean  had  also  retired,  and 
now  washed  other  perpendicular  cliffs  of  one  hun- 
dred feet  or  more  in  height,  at  a  distance  of  six  or 
eight  miles  to  the  northward  of  the  former  ones, 
which  appeared  to  rise  in  abrupt,  and  in  many  places, 
©verhang-ino;  cliffs  of  rocks  to  the  heis;ht  of  three 
hundred  feet.  We  had  made  our  way  through 
these  cliffs,  by  means  of  a  hollow,  seemingly  formed 
©n  purpose  for  a  passage,  as  it  was  the  only  one  in 
view;  and  as  I  did  not  know  which  way  our  masters 
went,  I  had  stopped  to  view  the  surrounding  pros- 
pect, and  now  give  what  was  then  my  impression. 
I  was  at  a  loss  which  way  to  steer  my  course,  but 
our  masters,  who  were  concealed  behind  a  small  hil- 
lock on  our  left,  discovering  my  embarrassment,  now 
called  to  me,  where  I  soon  joined  them.  It  was  now 
nearly  dark,  and  there  were  three  or  four  families  of 
Arabs  near,  sitting  under  a  shelter  made  of  skins 
extended  by  poles :  here  our  camels  w^ere  turned  up 
to  browse,  arid  we  were  ordered  to  collect  brush, 
which  grew  on  the  steep  side  of  the  banks,  to  make 
a  fire,  and  to  keep  off  the  wind  during  the  night. 
Mr.  Savage  was  entirely  exhausted,  and  I  requested 
him  to  He  down  on  the  ground,  whilst  the  rest  of  us 
gathered  the  bushes  required ;   but  when  I  came  in 



with  my  handful,  Seid  was  beating  him  with  a  stick 
to  make  him  assist.  I  begged  he  would  permit  Mr. 
Savage  to  remain  where  he  was ;  told  him  he  was 
sick,  and  that  I  would  perform  his  share  of  the  la- 
bour. Sidi  Haraet  now  returned  and  killed  one  of 
the  goats,  of  which  thej  gave  us  the  entrails;  a 
seasonable  relief  indeed,  and  we  were  allowed  to 
drink  a  little  of  the  soup  they  were  boiled  in,  and  a 
small  piece  of  meat  was  divided  between  us;  and 
each  received  a  drink  of  water: — I  had  before  stolen 
a  drink  for  Mr.  Savage,  whose  bloody  vomit  con- 
tinued. In  the  course  of  the  night  they  gave  us  a 
small  quantity  of  the  same  kind  of  pudding  we  had 
before  tasted,  but  as  Mr.  Savage  was  sick,  they  re- 
fused to  give  him  any,  saying,  "  he  had  already 
eaten  too  much  of  something,  but  they  did  not  know 
what"  Sidi  Hamet,  however,  saved  a  little  of  the 
pudding  in  a  bowl  for  him,  and  as  he  seemed  unwil- 
ling to  die  with  hunger,  I  gave  him  part  of  tlie  pud- 
ding I  had,  and  saved  ray  share  of  meat  for  him  until 
the  morning.  Our  hunger  and  thirst  being  some- 
what appeased,  we  slept  this  night  pretty  soundly. 
We  had  travelled  this  day  about  thirty  miles. 

October  the  14th,  early  in  the  morning,  we  took 
leave  of  these  Arabs,  but  while  we  were  busied  in 
getting  olT,  Abdallah  seized  on  Mr.  Savage's  pudding 
in  the  bowl  as  a  good  prize,  and  swallowed  it  in  an 
instant;  so  that  nothing  but  my  care  of  Mr.  Savage 
saved  him  from  fainting  and  consequent  death  on 
this  day.     Our  masters   had  purchased   two   more 

ofoats  from  those  Arabs,  which  increased   our  num- 


her  to  five ;  these  we  were  forced  to  drive,  and  we 


kept  along  the  sea-shore  the  whole  of  this  day. 
On  our  right  the  original  sea-shore  (or  bank)  rose 
nearly  three  hundred  feet  perpendicularly,  and  in 
many  places,  in  overhanging  cliffs.  The  inclined  plane 
on  which  we  travelled  was  from  three  to  six  or 
eight  miles  wide,  and  very  regular;  covered  with 
pebbles  and  many  round  stones ;  among  which  grew 
here  and  there  a  few  dwarf  bushes  of  different 
kinds  from  what  I  had  seen  before  in  various  parts 
of  the  world,  A  little  to  our  left  the  plane  broke 
off  abruptly,  and  the  ocean  appeared.  The  bank 
was  from  one  hundred  and  fifty  to  two  hundred  feet 
high  above  the  level  of  the  sea,  and  mostly  perpen- 
dicular, against  which  the  heavy  surges  dashed  with 
great  fury,  sounding  like  loud  peals  of  distant  thun- 
der. Our  course  and  that  of  the  shore  was  about 
east,  and  near  dark  we  fell  in  with  four  families  of 
Arabs  who  were  about  pitching  their  tents  near  the 
sea-shore.  Our  masters  went  and  introduced  them- 
selves to  the  one  who  appeared  to  be  their  chief  or 
the  principal  character  among  them,  and  whose 
name  was  Hassar.  They  soon  became  acquainted, 
and  it  was  ascertained  that  Hassar  and  his  wife,  to- 
gether with  four  men  that  were  with  him,  and  their 
families,  were  going  the  same  route  that  we  were, 
upon  which  our  masters  agreed  to  join  company. 

Hassar's  wife,  whose  name  was  Tamar,  and  ap- 
peared to  be  an  uncommonly  intelligent  woman,  ad- 
dressed me  in  broken  Spanish  and  Arabic  mixed  ; — 
she  said  she  had  saved  the  lives  of  some  Spaniards 
who  had  been  wrecked  on  that  coast  a  great  many 
years  ago ;  that  a  vessel  came  for  them,  and  that 


she  went  to  Lanzarofe  (one  of  the  Canary  Islands)' 
to  get  some  goods  which  the  Spanish  captain  pro- 
mised to  deliver  her  father,  who  kept  three  of  the 
men  until  the  Spaniard  should  have  fulfilled  his  con- 
tract, and  brought  her  back.  She  represented  to 
me  the  manner  in  which  the  houses  in  Lanzarote 
were  built,  and  described  the  forts  and  batteries 
with  their  cannon,  &c.  so  very  clearly  and  accurate- 
ly, that  I  had  no  doubt  but  that  she  must  have  seen 
them,  and  I  gave  her  to  understand  I  had  been  there 
also.  She  said  Lanzarote  was  a  bad  country,  and 
told  us,  we  should  not  die  with  hunger  while  we  re- 
mained in  her  company. 

We  travelled  on  the  14th  about  twenty  miles. 
In  the  night  our  masters  killed  a  goat  and  gave  us  a 
part  of  the  meat  as  well  as  of  the  entrails:  Hassar's 
wife  also  gave  us  a  small  quantity  of  the  pudding 
before  mentioned,  which  the  Arabs  call  Lhash^  and 
here  we  had  a  good  night's  sleep.  October  the 
15th,  early  in  the  morning,  Hassar  and  his  company 
struck  their  tents,  and  all  these  families  proceeded 
on  with  us  until  near  night,  when  we  came  to  a  very 
deep  gully,  which  we  could  not  pass  in  any  other 
way  than  by  going  down  the  bank  on  to  the  sea 
beach;  and  as  it  was  low  tide,  there  Avas  a  kind  of 
pathway  where  camels  had  gone  down  before  us. 
We  descended,  and  there  found  a  tent  with  an 
Arab  family  in  it  just  below  the  high  bank ;  so 
sending  on  the  camels,  Sidi  Ilamet  made  us  stop  here 
a  few  moments.  The  owner  of  the  tent  pretended 
to  speak  Spanish,  but  in  fact  knew  only  a  few  de- 
tached words  of  that  language :  he  mentioned  to 


me  that  he  knew  I  had  promised  Sidi  Hamet  that 
raj  friend  in  Swearah  would  pay  him  the  amount  I 
had  bargained  for,  stating  the  sum :  now,  said  this 
Arab — "Have  you  a  friend  in  Swearah?"  I  answer- 
ed I  had : — "  do  not  He,  (said  he)  for  if  you  do, 
you  will  have  your  throat  cut;  but  if  you  have  told 
him  so  merely  that  you  might  get  off  of  t  e  desart, 
so  as  to  procure  something  to  eat,  he  will  pardon 
that  pretext  and  deception  so  far  as  only  to  sell  you 
and  your  comrades  to  the  highest  bidder,  the  first 
opportunity,  provided,  however,  that  you  confess  the 
deceit  now.  In  a  few  days  (added  he)  you  will 
find  houses  and  a  river  of  running  w^ater,  and  should 
you  persist  in  deceiving  him,  you  will  certainly  lose 
your  life."  I  made  him  understand  that  I  was  in- 
capable of  lying  to  Sidi  Hamet ;  that  all  I  told  him 
was  true ;  that  he  was  the  man  who  had  saved  my 
life,  and  he  should  be  well  rewarded  for  his  good- 
ness by  my  friend,  and  by  our  Almighty  Father. 
This  seemed  to  satisfy  Sidi  Hamet,  who  was  present, 
and  understood  me  better  than  the  other  did,  and 
he  told  me  I  should  see  Swearah  in  a  few  days.  We 
now  went  forward,  accompanied  by  the  Arab,  who 
piloted  us  across  a  small  arm  of  the  sea  that  enteied 
the  beforementioned  gully.  We  here  found  a  j^air 
of  kerseymere  pataloons  that  had  belonged  to  Mr. 
Savage,  in  the  possession  of  one  of  this  man's  Hi  le 
sons ; — I  pointed  them  out  to  my  masters  and  beg- 
ged them  to  buy  them,  which  after  a  long  bart  r 
with  the  boy,  Seid  effected,  by  giving  him  in  ex- 
change a  piece  of  blue  cotton  cloth  which  he  had 
wore  as  a  kind  of  shirt:  they  wished  me  to  give  thfe 


pantaloons  to  Clark  or  Horace,  but  I  gave  them 
to  Mr.  Savage,  although  they  insisted  he  was  fonte^ 
or  a  bad  fellow. 

Having  got  up  the  steep  bank  again,  after  wa- 
ding through  the  salt  water,  which  was  nearly  up  to 
our  hips,  and  one  hnrsdred  yards  broad,  we  encamp- 
ed for  the  night  on  high  dry  land,  and  at  dark  our 
masters,  taking  Horace  and  myself  with  them,  went 
near  a  few  tents  close  by  the  sea,  where  Ave  were 
presented  with  a  quantity  of  dried  muscles,  which 
though  very  salt,  we  found  excellent :  these  we  di- 
vided among  our  shipmates:  I  conjecture  we  had 
made  twenty-five  miles  this  day.  Here  our  masters 
killed  their  remaining  goats,  boiled  and  ate  their 
entrails  and  most  of  their  meat,  as  all  present  were 
hungry,  and  would  have  some  in  spite  of  every  op- 
position ;  so  that  our  share  was  seized  and  swallow- 
ed by  others. 

October  the  I6th,  we  made  ready  and  started 
very  early,  but  went  on  slowly,  keeping  near  the 
sea-shore,  and  mostly  in  the  broken  grounds,  caused 
by  its  former  washings.  Our  masters  seemed  very 
fearful  all  this  day,  and  told  me  there  were  many  rob- 
bers and  bad  men  hereabouts,  who  would  endeavour 
to  seize  and  carry  us  off,  and  that  they  could  throw 
large  stones  with  great  force  and  precision.  We 
had  not  travelled  more  than  fifteen  miles  before  sun- 
set, and  night  coming  on,  our  masters,  who  had 
mounted  Mr.  Savage,  Clark,  and  Burns  on  the 
camels,  drove  them  on  at  a  great  rate,  while  my- 
<ielf  and  Horace  were  obliged  to  keep  up  with  them 
by  running  on   foot.     All  this  time  they  had  their 

SUFFERINGS     IN   AFRICA.   .  167 

gung  in  their  hands  unsheathed,  and  when  Horace 
and  myself  were  obliged  occasionally  to  stop,  one 
of  them  always  stayed  with  us,  and  then  hurried  us 
on  as  fast  as  possible.  In  this  manner  we  proceeded 
on  until  about  midnight,  when  coming  to  a  deep  gul- 
ly, Mr.  Savage  and  Clark  were  dismounted,  and 
Horace  and  myself  placed  on  the  camels.  De- 
scending the  valley,  we  found  it  full  of  high  sand 
drifts,  and  proceeded  without  making  the  least  noise: 
the  valley  was  wide,  and  the  sand  lying  in  it,  had  no 
doubt  been  driven  from  the  sea  beach  by  the  wind. 
All  the  women  and  children  at  this  time  were  run- 
ning on  foot.  After  reaching  with  much  labour  the 
other  side  of  the  valley,  and  the  summit  beyond  it, 
we  found  the  whole  surface  of  the  ground  making 
an  even  inclined  plane,  covered  with  deep  drifts  of 
loose  sand.  I  had  been  riding,  I  think,  about  two 
hours,  when  Clark,  who  was  a  considerable  distance 
behind,  called  to  me,  and  said,  "  Mr.  Savage  has 
fainted  away,  and  they  are  flogging  him  with  sticks." 
I  instantly  slipped  off  my  camel,  and  ran  to  relieve 
him  as  fast  as  my  legs  would  carry  me.  Seid  was 
striking  his  apparent  lifeless  body,  which  lay  stretch- 
ed on  the  ground,  with  a  heavy  ^stick :  Hassar  had 
seized  him  by  tlie  beard  with  ont  hand,  and  with  the 
other  held  a  sharp  scimitar,  with  which  he  was  in 
the  act  of  cutting  his  throat.  I  laid  hold  of  Hassar, 
jerked  him  away,  and  clasping  the  body  of  Mr. 
Savage  in  my  arms,  raised  him  up,  and  called  for 
water,  Hassar  would  have  run  me  through  with 
his  scimitar,  but  Sidi  Hamet  arrested  and  prevented 
kim.     I  expected  to  lose  my  life,  but  had  determin- 


ed  to  save  Mr.  Savage's  at  all  hazards.  Our  mas- 
ters and  the  whole  coiBpanj  of  men,  women,  and 
children,  were  around  me :  they  were  possessed 
with  the  belief  that  he  was  perverse  and  obstinate, 
and  that  he  would  not  exert  himself  to  proceed  at 
a  time  when  thej  were  in  haste  to  go  on,  lest  they 
should  fall  into  the  hands  of  robbers;  for  which 
reason  they  had  determined  to  kill  him.  I  made 
Sidi  Hamet,  however,  and  the  others  understand, 
that  he  had  fainted  through  hunger  and  excessive 
fatigue,  and  that  he  was  not  perverse  in  this  in- 
stance. This  surprised  them  exceedingly:  they  had 
never  before  heard  of  such  a  thing  as  fainting.  Sidi 
Hamet  ordered  a  camel  to  be  brought,  and  a  drink 
of  water  to  be  given  him,  and  when  he  revived,  this 
Arab  shed  tears;  then  putting  him  and  Clark  on  a 
camel,  one  to  steady  the  other,  they  proceeded. 
Sidi  Hamet  desired  me  to  get  on  with  Horace  and 
ride,  saying,  with  a  sneer—"  the  English  are  good 
for  nothing — you  see  even  our  women  and  children 
can  walk  and  run."  I  told  him  1  could  walk,  that 
I  was  not  a  bad  fellow;  and  began  to  run  about 
and  drive  up  the  camels;  this  pleased  him  exces- 
sively, and  he  bade  me  come  and  walk  with  him, 
leaving  the  camels  to  the  care  of  others,  calling  me 
"  good  Riley — you  shall  again  see  your  children,  if 
God  please." 

We  continued  our  journey  eastward  along  the 
south  side  of  a  high  string  of  sand  hills,  v/lien  hear- 
ing a  dog  bark  before  us,  we  turned  the  camels  sud- 
denly off  to  the  north,  setting  them  off  on  a  full  trot, 
but  passing  over  the  sand  hills  without  noise :  we 


kept  this  course  for  about  an  hour,  until  having  got 
near  the  sea-bank,  and  north  of  the  sand  hills,  we 
resumed  our  former  course.  Near  daylight  wc  lost 
our  way,  and  fearing  to  go  amiss,  as  it  was  very 
dark,  they  made  the  camels  lie  down  in  a  circle, 
placing  lis  within  it — when  th6y  kept  guard  over  us 
with  their  muskets  in  their  hands,  while  we  took  a 
nap.  I  should  guess  we  travelled  fifty  miles  this  last 
day  and  night. 

October  the  17th,  early  in  the  morning,  we  set 
forward  again,  still  on  the  same  inclined  plane,  be- 
tween the  first  and  second  banks  of  the  sea.  The 
high  banks  on  our  right,  whose  pointed  rocks,  where 
they  had  been  washed  by  the  ocean,  were  still  visi- 
ble all  the  way,  began  to  be  overtopped  with  high 
hills  rising  far  into  the  country,  and  presenting  to 
our  vie;w  a  new  aspect,  so  that  I  was  convinced  we 
had  left  the  level  desart. 

CHAP.  XV.- 

Black  mountains  appear  in  the  east — they  come  to  a 
river  of  salt  water^  and  to  wells  of  fresh  water, 
where  they  find  many  horses.  Description  of  a  sin- 
gular  plant — come  to  cultivated  land ;  to  a  fresh 
water  river.,  and  a  few  stone  huts. 

The  black  tops  of  high  mountains  appeared  in  the 
distant  horizon  to  the  eastward  about  noon,  and  the 
camel  paths  were  very  much  trodden.  We  kept  on 
until  near  night,  when  meeting  with  a  deep  valley, 



we  wound  our  course  through  it  to  the  southward, 
and  then  went  down  south-eastwardly  through  ano- 
ther deep  valley,  where  there  was  a  good  path. 
The  black  bare  mountains  on  both  sides  of  us  gave 
us  great  hopes  that  we  should  soon  come  to  running 
water  and  cultivated  lands;  and  in  reality  near 
night  we  came  to  a  stream  of  water,  with  high  grass 
and  bushes  growing  on  its  margin.  The  water, 
however,  was  very  brackish,  and  could  not  be  drank; 
but  on  its  opposite  bank  we  saw  a  company  of  men 
at  some  wells,  watering  about  forty  fine  looking 
horses  and  some  camels.  Our  masters  saluted  those 
men,  and  crossing  the  stream,  which  in  this  part  was 
about  two  feet  deep  and  thirty  feet  wide,  we  water- 
ed our  camels  also  at  the  same  place.  This  river, 
whose  water  was  clear  as  crystal,  was  literally 
filled  with  beautiful  large  fish,  which  were  jumping 
above  the  surface  at  every  moment,  but  the  Arabs 
did  not  seem  to  want  them,  for  they  could  have  been 
caught  very  easily.  The  company  with  the  horses 
and  camels  left  the  wells,  and  went  on  to  the  south, 
riding  at  a  full  trot  along  the  river's  side;  tliey  were 
armed  only  with  scimitars.  Our  company  then  went 
towards  the  sea,  and  Hassar's  women  pitched  their 
tents  for  the  night ;  here  they  cooked  a  goat,  which 
they  divided  among  all  the  party,  and  what  fell  to 
our  share  cannot  be  supposed  to  have  been  much. 
I  believe  we  made  thirty-six  miles  this  day,  as  we 
rode  nearly  all  the  time. 

October  the  18th,  we  ascended  the  hill,  climbing 
up  in  a  zisczag  path  on  the  steep  side  of  the  east 
bank  of  this  river,  and  having  gained  the  surface, 


we  found  it  to  be  a  continuation  of  the  same  inclined 
plane  on  which  we  had  before  been  travelhng.  The 
bank  on  our  right,  to  the  south,  still  continued  to  give 
indubitable  proofs  of  its  having  been  washed  by  the 
ocean  ;  whose  surges  had  worn  in  under  the  shelving 
rocks,  which  hung  in  immense  masses  of  from  two 
to  three  hundred  feet  high  over  the  surface  of  the 
inclined  plane  below,  while  the  plane  itself  adjoin- 
ing the  cliffs  was  covered  with  fragments  that  had 
fallen  from  above,  and  with  other  stones  that  had 
been  washed  and  worn  round  by  the  ocean's  waves, 
leaving  the  most  positive  marks  of  its  having  retired 
to  its  present  bed.  These  observations,  with  those 
I  had  made  beiore,  and  was  enabled  to  make  after- 
wards, fully  satisfied  my  mind,  that  the  sea  had 
gradually  retired  from  this  continent; — I  must  leave 
it  to  philosophers  to  account  for  the  cause.  The 
only  green  thing  we  had  seen  for  several  days  past, 
except  what  grew  immediately  on  the  bank  of  the 
river,  (which  were  some  bushes  resembling  dwarf 
alders  and  bulrushes)  was  a  shrub  that  rose  in  a 
small  bunch  at  the  bottom,  having  frequently  but  one 
stalk,  from  three  to  twelve  inches  in  thickness ;  the 
limbs  spreading  out  in  every  direction,  like  an  um- 
brella, into  innumerable  branches,^making  a  diame- 
ter of  from  fifteen  to  twenty  feet,  and  not  more  than 
six  feet  in  height;  its  leaves  very  green,  smooth, 
pointed,  and  about  four  inches  long  by  one  and  a 
half  broad ;  its  bark  resembled  that  of  the  hard  or 
sugar  maple  tree;  its  branches  terminated  abruptly, 
the  point  of  each  twig  being  nearly  as  thick  as  the 
end  of  a  man's  finger:  this  shrub,  or  weed,  was  very 


tender,  and  as  we  broke  off  the  twigs,  a  great  manf 
drops  of  glutinous  liquid,  resembling  milk,  flowed 
from  them,  but  its  odour  and  taste  were  of  the  most 
disagreeable  kind,  and  the  camels  would  not  feed  on 
it.  We  saw  a  good  deal  that  had  grown  up  before, 
and  had  died,  and  became  dry  :  on  breaking  it  off, 
I  found  it  was  hollow,  and  almost  as  light  as  a  com- 
mon drj  weed.  Neither  our  masters  nor  the  other 
Arabs  would  light  a  fire  with  it,  on  account  of  its  dis- 
agreeable smell  when  burning;  the  taste  of  the  milk 
issuinp^  from  this  plant  was  the  most  nauseous  and 
disgusting  in  nature,  though  very  white  and  beauti- 
ful to  behold.  About  noon  we  came  to  the  foot  of 
the  high  mountains  we  had  seen  the  day  before,  and 
turned  in  between  two  of  them  to  the  south-east, 
leaving  the  sea  entirely.  We  went  up  through  a 
chasm  in  the  bank,  over  rocks  and  through  a  narrow 
footway,  formed  by  the  treading  of  camels  and 
horses;  for  we  had  seen  many  horse-tracks,  and  also 
the  tracks  of  one  animal  of  the  kind  called  neat 

As  we  proceeded  on  foot,  winding  upwards,  we 
discovered  on  our  left  a  few  stones  piled  up  in  the 
form  of  a  wall,  round  a  pit  of  ten  or  twelve  feet 
across,  and  six  feet  deep,  dug  in  the  eaith  by  art. 
There  were  lying  on  the  ground,  around  the  wall, 
several  earthen  pots  that  would  contain  from  three 
to  four  gallons  each ;  and  which  appeared  to  have 
been  made  for,  and  used  as  boilers.  One  of  our 
young  men  directly  took  up  one  of  them,  and  was 
lashing  it  on  his  camel  as  a  good  prize,  when  Hassar 
and  Sidi  Hamet,  obs^rving^  the  circumstance,  made 

SUFFERINGS    Ii\    AFRICA.  11  .i 

iiim  untie  and  carry  it  back  again  to  the  spot  where 
he  had  found  it.  As  I  already  knew  the  propensity 
all  had  for  plundering,  I  could  not  but  imagine  that 
they  now  restrained  themselves  through  fear.  About 
sunset  we  came  to  a  small  spot  of  land  that  had 
been  cultivated,  and  fell  in  with  a  heap  of  barley 
straw.  Here  was  the  first  sign  of  cultivation  we 
had  seen  on  this  continent,  and  we  hailed  it  as  the 
harbinger  of  happier  days.  We  had  travelled  full 
thirty  miles  this  day,  and  our  masters  now  gave  us 
the  putrid  remains  of  the  goat  which  had  hung  on 
one  of  the  camels  tor  four  days;  this  we'  roasted, 
and  found  it  a  delicious  morsel ;  it  was  tender,  and 
needed  no  seasoning.  Some  of  my  comrades,  as  if 
their  taste  had  become  depraved  by  the  rage  of 
liunger,  declared  that  putrid  meat  was  far  preferable 
to  fresh;  that  it  wanted  neither  salt  nor  pepper  to 
give  it  a  relish,  and  that  if  ever  they  got  home  again, 
they  should  prefer  such  food  to  any  other.  Having 
finished  our  savoury  supper,  we  lay  down  on  the 
straw,  and  enjoyed  a  most  charming,  sound,  and  re- 
freshing; sleep.  To  us,  who  for  so  long  a  time  had 
been  obliged  to  repose  our  wearied  limbs  and  wasted 
frames  on  the  hard-baked  bosom  of  the  desart,  or 
the  dead  sides  of  the  barren  sand  drifts,  this  solitary 
heap  of  fresh  straw  seemed  softer  and  sweeter  than 
a  bed  of  down  strewn  over  with  the  most  odoriferous 
flowers.    . 

October  the  19th,  we  resumed  our  journey  very 
early  in  the  morning,  and  travelled  on  foot,  all  ex- 
cept Burns,  who  was  so  far  exhausted  as  to  be  unable 
t«  walk.     Our  course  rounded  from  S.  E.  to  E.  N.  E. 


keeping  the  bottom  of  the  valleys,  most  of  which 
had  been  cultivated  by  the  plough  at  no  very  remote 
period,  but  only  in  a  narrow  strip.  The  sides 
of  the  mountains  were  entirely  barren  and  naked 
of  foliage,  and  we  kept  on  winding  as  the  val- 
leys permitted,  until  about  two  o'clock,  P.  M.  when, 
suddenly  through  a  deep  valley  before  us,  a  few 
rough  stone  huts  broke  upon  our  view,  and  a  mo- 
ment afterwards  we  beheld  a  stream  of  clear  water 
purling  over  a  pebbly  bottom,  and  meandering- 
through  banks  covered  with  green  bushes  and 
shrubs  in  full  blossom.  On  the  farther  side  cows, 
asses,  and  sheep,  were  feeding  on  green  grass,  and 
a  number  of  date  trees  adorning  and  shading  the 
margin  of  the  rivulet.  This  was  a  sight  none  of 
us  expected  to  behold,  and  I  poured  out  my  soul  in 
rapturous  effusions  of  thankfulness  to  the  Supreme 
Being.  Excess  of  joy  had  so  far  overpowered  our 
faculties,  that  it  was  with  difficulty  we  reached  the. 
water's  edge ;  but  urging  forward  to  the  brink  with 
headlong  steps,  and  fearlessly  plunging  in  our 
mouths,  like  thirsty  camels,  we  swallowed  down 
large  draughts  until  satiated  nature  bade  us  stop. 
The  rivulet  was  fresh,  and  fortunately  not  so  cold 
as  to  occasion  any  injurious  effects :  it  was  quite 
shallow,  and  not  more  than  about  five  yards  in  width; 
it  appeared,  however,  very  evidently  that  when  the 
rain  falls  in  the  surrounding  country,  it  flows  with  a 
much  deeper  and  broader  current.  It  is  called  by 
the  Arabs  cl  Wod  noon^  or  the  river  Nun ;  comes  from 
the  south-east,  and  runs  from  this  place  to  the  seat 
in  a  northeily  direction.      We  had  arrived  on   its 


i;ight  bank,  where  fcome  barren  date  trees  grew,  but 
which  afforded  to  us  nothing  but  their  shade :  hun- 
gry, however,  as  we  were,  our  fatigue  got  the  better 
of  every  other  want,  and  as  these  were  the  first  trees 
we  had  met  with  during  our  distressing  pilgrimage, 
we  embraced  the  kindly  offer,  and  enjoyed  about 
two  hours  of  refreshing  sleep :  I  was  then  awakened 
by  Sidi  Hamet,  who  directed  me  to  come  with  my 
companions  and  follow  him:  this  we  instantly  did, 
and  going  near  one  of  the  small  houses,  he  diviued 
amongst  us,  to  our  inexpressible  joj^  about  four 
pounds  of  honey  in  the  comb.  This  was  indeed  a 
dainty  treat;  and  with  the  hungriness  of  greedy 
bears,  we  devoured  it,  comb  and  all,  together  with  a 
host  of  young  bees  just  ready  for  hatching,  that 
filled  two-thirds  of  the  cells;  our  hearts  at  the  same 
time  swelling  with  gratitude  to  God,  and  tears  of  joy 
tricklins:  down  our  fleshless  cheeks. 

Hassar's  men  pressed  around  and  endeavoured  to 
snatch  from  us  this  delicious  food,  of  which  they  had 
no  share ;  but  Sidi  Hamet  placing  the  bowl  on  his 
knees,  passed  the  honey-comb  to  us  piece  by  piece 
in  one  hand,  while  he  held  his  gun  in  the  other, 
ready  to  fire  on  any  one  who  should  attempt  to  de- 
prive us  of  our  meal.  The  eyes  of  these  fellows 
seemed  to  flash  fire  at  the  preference  w^e  enjoyed, 
and  we  dreaded  the  effects  of  their  malicious  envy; 
for  the  Arabs  set  no  bounds  to  their  ancrer  and  re- 


sentment.  and  rf^gard  no  law  but  that  of  superior 
force.  Having  finished  our  luscious  repast,  we  were 
told  by  our  masters  to  go  to  rest,  which  we  did,  and 


soon  fell  asleep  In   the  shade  formed  by  a  beautiful 
umbrella  palm-tree. 

About  dark  we  were  called  up  and  ordered  to 
gather  fuel,  and  were  afterwards  presented  with 
some  pudding  of  the  same  kind  we  had  before  eaten, 
thouah  mixed  with  oil,  that  I  afterwards  ascertained 
was  the  argan  oil,  which  though  fresh,  had  a  very 
strong  smell,  and  my  stomach  being  cloyed  with 
honey,  I  declined  eating  any.  My  companions,  how- 
ever, relished  this  oil  very  much,  and  preferred  it  af- 
terwards to  butter  during  our  staj^  in  Africa.  ^^  e 
found  a  good  shelter  this  night  near  a  burying  place 
with  a  small  square  stone  building  in  the  centre, 
whitewashed  and  covered  with  a  dome;  and  I  after- 
wards learned  that  this  was  a  sanctuary  or  saint 
house :  it  was  fenced  in  with  thorn  bushes,  and  was 
the  first  burying  place  we  had  seen  in  this  country. 
I  computed  we  had  travelled  this  day  (Oct.  19) 
about  eighteen  miles. 

On  the  morning  of  the  20th5  we  did  not  go  for- 
ward, and  a  number  of  Arabs  and  Moors  came  to 
see  our  masters  and  us.  This  place  appeared  to  be 
a  great  thoroughfare :  large  droves  of  unloaded 
camels  were  passing  up  to  the  eastward  from  the  way 
we  had  come,  as  well  as  from  the  southward,  and  also 
great  numbers  of  loaded  camels  going  towards 
the  desart.  Their  loading  consisted  principally  of 
sacks  of  barley,  some  salt  and  iron,  together  with 
other  merchandise. 

During  the  fore  part  of  this  day,  several  parties 
of  men.  in  all   from   sixty  to  eighty,  passed  us;  all 


Miounted  on  handsome  horses  of  the  Arabian  breed, 
well-bred  and  high-spirited :  their  riders  were  co- 
vered with  cloaks  or  sulains,  and  every  one  had  a 
single  barrelled  musket  in  his  hand,  the  stocks  of 
which  were  curiously  wrought  and  inlaid  with 
small  pieces  of  various  coloured  wood  and  ivory,  ar- 
ranged and  fitted  in  a  very  particular  manner.  The 
locks  of  these  muskets  were  of  the  Moorish  kind, 
and  very  unhandy,  though  substantial,  and  they 
seldom  miss  fire,  although  their  powder  is  bad  and 
coarse  grained.  This  and  a  good  scimitar  slung  on 
their  right  side  constitute  the  whole  of  their  weap- 
ons. They  depend  more  upon  the  scimitar  for  close 
quarters  in  battle  than  upon  their  musket,  for,  say 
they,  this  will  never  miss  fire;  being  similar  to  the 
practice  which  it  is  said  the  Russian  General  (Suwar- 
row)  used  to  inculcate  on  his  soldiers — "  the  ball 
will  lose  its  way,  the  bayonet  never — the  ball  is  a 
fool;  the  bayonet  a  hero."  A  Moor  is  ashamed  to 
be  without  his  scimitar;  their  scabbards  are  made  of 
brass,  and  plated  on  the  outside  with  silver,  but  those 
worn  by  the  Arabs  are  made  of  leather:  these 
weapons  both  of  the  Moors  and  Arabs,  are  suspend- 
ed from  the  neck  by  cords  made  of  woollen  yarn 
died  red,  or  a  strong  braided  leather  thong.  They 
call  a  scimitar  or  long  knife  el  skine. 

These  natives  were  of  a  different  race  of  men 
from  any  we  had  hitherto  seen ;  they  wear  a  haick 
or  piece  of  woollen  cloth  wrapped  about  their  bodies, 
which  covering  them,  falls  down  below  their  knees; 
or  else  a  cloak  called  gzlabbia,  made  in  a  similar 
manner,  cut  with  short  sleeves,  and  one  fold  of  the 

A  a 


haick  generally  covered  the  head,  but  those  wh» 
had  not  their  heads  covered  with  their  haick  or  the 
hood  of  their  gzlabbia,  or  sulam,  wore  a  kind  of 
turban ;  the  cloak  or  sulam,  is  made  of  coarse  black 
cloth,  very  shaggy,  and  much  in  the  form  of  the 
European  cloak,  with  a  hood  or  head-piece  to  it;  it 
is,  however,  sewed  together  part  of  the  way  down 
in  front,  so  that  to  get  it  on,  they  slip  it  over  their 
heads,  and  it  covers  their  arms.  They  are  gene- 
rally stout  men,  of  five  feet  eight  or  ten  inches  in 
height,  and  well  set;  their  complexion  a  light  olive — 
they  wear  their  beards  as  long  as  they  will  grow, 
and  consider  a  man  without  a  great  bushy  beard  an 
effeminate  being,  and  hold  him  in  great  contempt. 
Their  saddles  were  well  made  and  very  high,  at 
least  eiirht  or  ten  inches,  fitted  before  and  behind 
so  as  almost  to  make  it  impossible  for  the  horse  to 
throw  his  rider;  their  bridles  are  of  the  most  pow- 
erful Arabian  kind;  their  stirrups  are  made  of  broad 
sheets  of  iron  that  cover  almost  the  whole  foot — 
many  of  them  were  plated  with  silver.  All  the  men 
wore  slippers  and  spurs,  and  had  their  stirrups  tied 
up  very  short. 

While  we  remained  here,  a  very  respectable  look- 
ing old  man,  who  spoke  a  few  words  of  Spanish, 
after  learning  from  our  masters  who  we  were,  came 
to  me  and  inquired  about  my  country  and  my  friends 
in  Swearah ;  said  he  knew  all  the  consuls  there, 
and  told  me  their  names  were  Rcnshaw,  Josef,  Este- 
van,  and  Corte.  He  said  he  was  going  to  Swearah, 
and  should  be  there  in  ten  days,  and  would  carry  a 
letter  for  rae  if  my  master  would  let  me  write :  but 


we  had  no  paper.  I  informed  him  that  my  friend 
was  named  Retishaw,  guessing  him  to  be  the  EngUsh 
consul.  This  old  man  told  my  master  he  believed 
I  spoke  the  truth,  and  that  I  had  been  at  Swearah, 
which  from  his  discourse  I  understood  to  be  the 
same  as  Mogadore.  He  then  set  off  eastward  on 
his  mule,  which  was  a  very  large  and  handsome  onfe. 
All  the  people  that  passed  here  appeared  very 
friendly  to  our  masters;  they  wished  to  know  our 
story,  and  requested  my  opinion  of  their  horses, 
saddles  and  bridles,  muskets,  scimitars,  and  ac- 
coutrements in  general,  &c.  all  of  which  I  declared 
to  be  of  the  best  possible  kind.  This  morning,  Sidi 
Hamet  bought  a  hive  of  honey,  and  undertook  to 
give  some  of  it  to  us,  but  was  not  able  to  carry  his 
kind  intentions  into  effect,  for  at  the  moment  he  was 
handing  some  to  me,  Hassar's  men  rushed  on  hira 
and  got  possession  of  the  whole,  which  they  devour- 
ed in  a  minute;  there  was  no  getting  it  back,  and 
after  a  long  and  violent  dispute  with  Hassar  and 
his  company  respecting  it,  he  procured  another  hive, 
and  being  assisted  by  the  man  from  whom  he  bought 
it,  and  a  number  of  strangers,  he  succeeded  in  dis- 
tributing amongst  us  about  three  pounds  of  the 
poorest  part  of  tlie  comb. 



^he  company  is  divided — they  set  off  to  the  eastward — 
their  masters  are  attacked  by  a  band  of  robbers. 

After  we  had  eaten  this,  our  masters  prepared 
the  camels,  and  Hassar's  company  divided,  that  is  to 
saj,  two  men  and  all  the  Avomen  and  children  took 
the  plain  great  route  which  led  east  in  a  deep  vallej, 
driving   off   about  one-half  of  the  camels ;   Hassar 
and   the   others  drove  off  the  rest  (including  ours) 
in  a  N.  E    direction,  and  we  with  our  masters,  ac- 
companied by  two  other  men,  proceeded   along  the 
river's  eastern  bank  to  the  northward  for   a  short 
distance,  and  then   ascended   the   high,  steep,  and 
craggy  mountains  eastward  of  us.     The  labour  m 
clambering  up  these  steep  precipices  is  indescribable,- 
we  continued  mounting  them  as  fast  as  possible  for 
about  four   hours,  and  I  was   fully    convinced  our 
masters  took  that  route  for  fear  they  should  be  fol- 
lowed and  surprised  in  the  night  by  some  who  had 
seen  us,  and    thus  be   robbed  of  their  slaves  and 
other   property.     After  climbing  over  the  highest 
peaks  of  these  mountains,  we  saw  Hassar  and  part 
of  his   company   who  had   driven   the  camels,  and 
had   gotten    up  by  another  and  more    practicable 
patho      It  was  now  near  night,   and  we   travelled 
along  the  craggy  steeps,  assisting  one  another  over 
the  most  difficult  parts,  while  Hassar  sought  out  the 
^easiest  places  for  the  ascent  of  the  camels.     Coming 


at  length  to  a  small  level  spot  of  ground,  we  saw 
some  tents,  and  directed  our  course  towards  them : 
the  tents  were  twelve  in  number,  and  placed  in  a 
semicircle.  Having  approached  to  within  one  hun- 
dred yards  in  front  of  the  largest  one,  our  masters 
seated  themselves  on  the  ground  with  their  Hacks 
towards  the  tents,  and  a  woman  soon  came  out 
bringing  a  bowl  of  water,  which  she  presented  to 
them  after  the  usual  salutations  of  Labez^  &;c.  &c. 

Our  masters  drank  of  the  water,  and  Sidi  Hamet 
was  soon  after  presented  with  a  bowl  filled  with 
dates  lately  plucked  from  the  trees,  and  not  fully 
ripe:  these  he  gave  to  us;  though  Seid,  Abdallah,  and 
Hassar,  snatched  each  a  handful,  to  which  we  were 
forced  to  submit :  we  found  them  excellent,  but  did 
not  know  at  that  time  what  sort  of  fruit  they  were. 
Here  we  remained  during  the  night,  and  rested  our 
emaciated  bodies,  which  were,  if  possible,  more  fa- 
tigaed  than  they  ever  were  before. 

October  the  21st,  we  set  off  to  the  northward 
very  early,  and  made  down  towards  the  sea  through 
numerous  steep  gullies,  and  got  into  the  inclined  plane 
belovv^  the  former  sea-shore,  about  mid-day;  here 
were  the  same  sort  of  marks  in  this  bank  that  we 
had  before  observed,  and  the  same  signs  of  its  having 
been  laved  by  the  ocean.  We  went  along  through 
the  same  kind  of  thick  bushes  as  those  I  have  before 
described,  near  to  the  cliffs  that  at  present  formed 
a  barrier  to  the  mighty  waters,  where  we  discover- 
ed a  number  of  tents,  and  soon  reached  them.  Here 
our  masters,  Sidi  Hamet  and  Hassar,  were  recog- 
nized by  some  of  the  men,  who  were  in  all  about 


twenty,  with  their  families :  these  people  had  large 
sacks  of  barley  with  them,  which  they  had  procured 
far  eastward  up  the  country.  Sidi  Haraet  was  now 
sick  with  violent  pains  in  his  head  and  in  all  his 
limbs.  These  people  (who  were  Arabs,  as  all  are 
who  live  in  tents  in  the  country)  took  compassion  on 
him,  and  cleared  a  tent  for  him  to  lie  under,  where 
having  made  up  a  large  fire,  he  kept  his  head  to- 
wards it,  turning  about  and  almost  roasting  his  brains, 
but  obtained  no  relief  from  this  manner  of  treating 
his  disorder;  he  next  had  recourse  to  another  sin- 
gular remedy:  hb  had  a  large  knife  put  into  the 
fire  and  heated  red  hot;  then  made  his  brother  draw 
the  back  of  it,  hot  as  it  was,  several  times  across  the 
top  of  his  head,  making  it  hiss  (as  may  well  be  sup- 
posed) in  all  directions; — when  it  had  in  some  mea- 
sure cooled,  he  would  again  heat  it  as  before,  then 
making  bare  his  legs  and  arms,  he  went  through  with 
the  process  of  striking  its  back  along  them  at  the 
distance  of  three  or  four  inches,  scorching  off  the 
skin;  and  though  it  made  him  twitch  and  jump  at 
every  touch,  he  continued  to  do  it  for  the  space  of 
an  hour  or  more.  Burns  had  been  very  ill  for 
some  time,  and  was  so  weak  that  he  scarcely  was 
able  to  stand,  and  could  not  walk — he  was  therefore, 
always  placed  on  a  camel,  and  as  Sidi  Hamet  was 
now  applying  to  himself  a  remedy  for  what  he 
thought  ft  stroke  of  the  moon,  he  undertook  to  ad- 
minister the  red  hot  knife  to  the  limbs  of  poor  Burns, 
who  from  mere  want  of  bodily  strength  was  not 
able,  poor  fellow,  to  jump,  but  would  at  ewery  touch 
cry  out,  "  God  have  mercy  upon  me."     As  I  was 


hungrj,  r  begged  of  my  masters  to  let  me  go  and 
search  for  muscles  on  the  sea-beach,  (for  there  was 
a  hollow  at  a  little  distance,  through  which  we  might 
gain  it)  but  they  refused,  saying,  "  to-morrow,  if 
God  please,  we  shall  be  on  the  sea-beach ;  there 
are  no  muscles  on  this  part  of  the  coast;" — here, 
however,  we  received  a  ,good  supper  of  Ihask  or 
pudding,  and  rested  our  wearied  limbs  under  the  tent 
with  our  masters. 

October  the  22d,  we  went  forward,  driving  our 
own  camels  only ;  as  Hassar  had  taken  the  young 
one,  we  had  but  three  remaining;  so  we  rode  by 
turns,  crossing  the  deep  hollows  which  had  been 
worn  down  by  the  rains  or  other  causes,  until  after- 
noon, when  we  were  forced  to  have  recourse  to  the 
sea-beach  to  get  past  one  of  these  deep  places,  whose 
sides  were  so  steep  as  to  render  a  passage  down  it 
impracticable.  When  we  gained  the  beach,  we 
found  ourselves  on  a  narrow  strip  of  land,  which  was 
then  dry,  the  tide  being  out;  this  extended  in  length 
eight  or  ten  miles,  but  from  the  water's  edge  to  the 
perpendicular  cliffs  on  our  right,  not  more  than  ten 
yards:  these  cliffs  appeared  to  be  one  hundred  and 
fifty  feet  in  height.  When  we  came  to  the  sea-water, 
I  went  ir^to  it,  and  let  a  surf  wash  over  me,  that  I 
might  once  more  feel  its  refreshing  effects ;  but  my 
master,  fearing  I  should  be  carried  away  by  the  re- 
ceding waves,  told  me  not  to  go  near  them  again. 
As  we  proceeded  along  this  narrow  beach,  and  had 
passed  over  half  its  length,  the  huge  cliffs  overhang- 
ing us  on  our  right,  with  the  ocean  on  our  left;  just 
ars  we  were  turning  a  point,  we  observed  four  men. 

184  ^     CAPTAIN    KILEY's  NARRATIVE. 

<irmed  each  with  a  musket  and  scimitar,  spring  from 
beneath  the  juttliig  rocks,  to  intercept  our  march. 
Our  masters  were  at  this  time  on  the  camels,  but 
they  instantly  leaped  oif,  at  the  same  time  unsheath- 
ing their  guns :  to  retreat  would  betray  fear,  and 
lead  to  inevitable  destruction — so  they  determined 
to  advance,  two  against  four,  and  Sidi  Hamet,  though 
still  in  so  weak  a  state  as  to  be  thought  incapable  of 
walking  before  he  saw  these  men,  now  ran  towards 
them  with  his  musket  in  his  hand,  while  Seid,  that 
cruel  coward,  lagged  behind— so  true  it  is,  that  the 
most  generous  and  humane  men  are  always  the 
most  courageous.  The  foe  was  but  a  few  paces 
from  us,  and  stood  in  a  line  across  the  beach — Sidi 
Hamet,  holding  his  gun  ready  to  fire — demanded  if 
it  was  peace  ?  while  he  eyed  their  countenances  to 
see  if  they  were  deceitful — one  of  them  answered, 
"  it  is  peace,"  and  extended  his  hand  to  receive  that 
of  Sidi  Hamet,  who  gave  him  his  right  hand,  sus- 
pecting no  treachery,  but  the  fellow  grasped  it  fast, 
and  would  have  shot  him  and  Seid  in  a  moment,  but 
at  that  critical  juncture,  two  of  Hassar's  men  came 
in  sight,  running  like  the  wind  towards  us,  with  each 
a  good  double-barrelled  gun  in  his  hand,  all  ready 
to  fire;  the  robbers  saw  them  as  they  turned  the 
point,  and  the  fellow  who  had  seized  Sidi  Hamet's 
hand,  instantly  let  it  go,  turning  the  affair  oif  Avith  a 
loud  laugh,  and  saying,  he  only  did  it  to  frighten 
him:  this  excuse  was  deemed  sufficient,  merely  be- 
cause our  men  did  not  now  feel  themselves  sufficient- 
ly strong  to  resent  this  insult,  and  we  proceeded  on^ 
hut  these  fellows,  who  were  verv  stout  and  active, 


hovered  around  us,  slaves,  endeavouring  to  separate 
us  from  our  masters,  as  it  appeared,  in  the  hope  of 
seizing  on  us  as  their  own,  which  Sidi  Hamet   ob- 
serving, ordered  me  with  my  men  to  keep  close  to 
the  camels'   heels,  while  he  and  his  company  (now 
strong,  though  none  of  them  armed  with  scimitars) 
kept  between  us  and  the  banditti.    When  they  found 
that  our  masters  were  too  vigilant  for  them,  they 
took  French  leave  of  us,  and  ran  along  the   beach 
with   incredible  swiftness,  chasing  each  other,  and 
taking  up  and  throwing  stones,  that  I  should  suppose 
would  weigh  from  six  to  eight  pounds,  with  a  jerk 
that  made  them  whiz  through  the   air  like   cannon 
balls : — they  threw  them  against  the  cliffs  of  rocks, 
which  resounded  with  the  blow,  and  many  of  the 
stones  were  dashed  to  pieces  as  they  struck.    I  could 
see  the  marks  they  aimed  at,  and  that   the  stones 
went  with  great  precision,   as  well  as  force.     I  had 
before  no  idea  that  it  was  possible  for  men  to  acquire 
by  practice  such  enormous  power  of  arm;  for  they 
threw  these  stones  with  such  velocity,  that  I  am  con- 
vinced they  would  have  killed  a  man  at  the  distance 
of  fifty  yards  at  least. 

Having  come  to  the  end  of  the  beach,  we  ascend- 
ed the  bank  again,  leaving  these  formidable  ruffians 
masters  of  the  shore,  where  they,  no  doubt,  got 
some  plunder  before  they  left  it.  After  we  had 
mounted  the  bank  and  were  clear,  Sidi  Hamet  told 
me  that  the  fellows  we  had  met  were  very  bad  men, 
and  would  have  killed  him  and  Seid,  and  would  have 
taken  us  away  where  I  could  never  have  hoped  to 
see  my  wife  and  children  again,  if  the  great  God  had 

B  b 


not  at  that  time  sent  to  our  relief  the  two  men ;  he 
then  asked  if  I  would  fight  to  save  his  life  ?  I  told 
him  I  would,  and  that  no  one  should  kill  him  while 
I  was  alive,  if  it  was  in  my  power  to  prevent  it; 
"  good  Riley,  (said  he,)  you  are  worth  fighting  for, 
God  is  with  you,  or  I  must  have  lost  my  life  there.'' 


Some  fresh  fish  are  procured — they  pass  several  small 
walled  villages,  and  meet  with  robbers  on  horseback. 

Near  evening  we  met  and  passed  a  man  driving  an 
ass  laden  with  fish,  probably  of  from  ten  to  twelve 
pounds  weight  each:  they  had  much  the  shape  and 
appearance  of  salmon,  and  our  masters  endeavoured 
to  procure  one  from  the  owner  forme,  as  I  gave  them 
to  understand  I  was  very  fond  of  fish,  and  that  it 
would  be  good  for  Burns,  but  the  man  would  not 
part  with  one  of  them  on  any  terms.     At  evening- 
we  found   Hassar's  and  his   family's   tents  already 
pitched  on  a  little  hill  near  the  cliffs,  and  we  joined 
this  company.     Soon  after,  Seid,  Abdallah,  and  two 
of  Hassar's   men,  went  out  with   their   guns : — in 
about  two  hours,  those  with  us,  namely,  Sidi  Hamet, 
Hassar,  and  two  others,  hearing  footsteps  approach- 
ing, seized  their    muskets,   and    springing   forward 
from   their   tents,  demanded,  Avho  came   there  ?  It 
was  Seid  and  his  company,  who  came  towards  me, 
and  unfdlding  a  blanket,  turned  out  four  large  fish 


of  the  same  kind  we  had  seen  before.  "  Riley, 
(said  Sidi  Hamet,)  are  these  good  to  eat  ?"  I  replied 
in  the  affirmative — "  take  them  and  eat  them,  then, 
(said  he)  but  take  care,  do  not  choke  yourselves  with 
the  bones."  I  took  three  of  them,  cut  them  into 
pieces,  and  put  them  into  an  earthen  pot,  that  be- 
longed to  Hassar,  (this  pot  the  Arabs  call  gidcrah,^ 
added  some  water,  and  boiled  them  directly,  and  we 
ate  till  we  were  satisfied.  We  drank  the  soup, 
which  was  extremely  grateful  and  invigorating,  and 
helped  to  check  the  dysentery,  with  Avhich  we  were 
all  much  troubled  since  eating  the  honey-comb.  We 
had  travelled  this  day,  I.  think,  about  forty  miles, 
and  slept  at  night  within  a  circle  formed  by  our 
masters  and  their  camels,  out  of  which  we  were  not 
suffered  to  go,  as  Sidi  Hamet  told  me  there  were 
many  robbers  in  this  place,  who  would  seize  on  us, 
and  carry  us  off  in  a  minute,  without  the  possibility 
of  my  ever  being  restored  to  my  family. 

October  21st,  at  day -break  we  set  forward  on 
our  journey,  all  in  company,  (except  Hassar  and  the 
women  and  children.  The  fresh  fish  we  had  eaten 
the  night  before,  had  made  us  very  thirsty;  and 
about  noon  we  came  to  a  kind  of  cistern,  or  reser- 
voir of  water  on  the  pathway  side:  this  reservoir 
was  built  of  stone  and  lime ;  its  top  was  arched  like 
a  vault,  rising  about  four  feet  from  the  ground,  and 
the  cistern  was  at  least  eighty  feet  in  length,  eight 
or  ten  feet  in  breadth  in  the  inside,  and  appeared  to^ 
be  twenty  feet  deep.  It  was  now  nearly  full  of  water, 
which  had  been  led  into  it  by  means  of  gutters, 
formed  and  arranged  so  as  to  receive  and  conduct 


the  t-ain  water  when  It  descends  from  the  neio-hbour^ 
ing  hills,  and  is  collected  in  a  stream  in  this  valley. 
I  understood  this  water  was  the  common  property 
of  all  travellers  along  this  route,  and  that  the  cis- 
tern was  built  by  a  very  rich  and  pious  man,  solely 
for  the  purpose  of  refreshing  the  weary  traveller, 
and  that  it  contained  water  the  whole  year  round, 
even  though  there  should  be  a  continued  drought  for 
a  twelvemonth — but  no  person  of  our  party  ven- 
tured to  water  his  camel  from  it,  considering  it  as 
sacred  for  the  use  of  man  alone.  We  were  still 
travelling  on  the  slope  between  the  first  and  second 
banks  of  the  sea,  which  in  these  parts  was  much 
tut  up,  occasioned  by  the  waters  which  had  from 
time  to  time  poured  down  from  the  neighbouring 
mountains,  and  formed  steep  and  very  deep  gullies, 
across  which  we  were  obliged  to  climb.  The  path 
on  this  inclined  plane  was  not  much  frequented,  and 
the  margin  of  the  bank  on  our  right  hand  had  been 
newly  ploughed  in  many  places  here  and  there  in 
the  nooks  or  fertile  hollows.  On  the  high  lands  we 
saw  two  small  walled  towns,  with  prickly-pear 
bushes  planted  around  them.  Near  these  towns  or 
walled  villages,  some  men  were  employed  in  plough- 
ing with  a  pair  of  beasts,  generally  a  cow  and  an 
ass  yoked  together  in  a  Very  singular  manner,  which 
I  shall  hereafter  describe,  and  others  were  watching 
flocks  of  sheep  and  goats  on  the  surrounding  emi- 
nences, while  the  women  were  seen  lujro-inof  down 
wood  on  their  backs  from  the  tops  of  the  lofty  hills, 
and  large  jars  or  pitchers  of  water  from  a  distant 
valley.     They  generally  had  a  child  on  their  backs, 


clinging  with  its  arms  round  the  neck  of  the  mother, 
and  the  jar  or  pitcher  rested  on  their  shoulders  in  a 
manner  that  reminded  me  of  the  story  of  the  beau- 
tiful Rebekah,  in  holy  writ,  coming  to  the  well  with 
her  pitcher. 

About  noon,  we  came  near  a  considerable  walled 
village,  that  stood  close  by  the  road;  it  had  gardens 
close  by  the  walls  on  all  sides,  and  there  was  one 
near  the  gateway  planted  with  prickly-pear. 
These  gardens  were  defended  by  heaps  of  dry  thorn 
bushes,  which  served  as  an  outward  defence  to  the 
town ;  these  heaps  were  about  six  feet  high,  and  the 
walls  fifteen  feet.  Our  masters  stopped  near  the 
gate  for  some  moments,  and  no  one  seemed  disposed 
to  give  them  a  drink  of  water,  contenting  themselves 
with  gazing  at  them  over  the  walls;  soon  they  went, 
cursing  the  inhospitality  of  these  villagers.  Near 
night  we  descended  into  a  delightful  valley,  whose 
bottom  was  level  and  well-disposed  into  hand- 
some gardens,  fenced  in  with  thorn  bushes  and  stone 
walls,  and  divided  into  numerous  separate  plots. 
Round  about  them,  and  at  their  corners,  stood  many 
fine  fig-trees,  which  looked  healthy,  though  they 
were  leafless,  owing  to  the  lateness  of  the  season : 
we  saw  also  a  few  pomegranate-trees.  These  gar- 
dens or  plots  were  planted  with  dilTerent  kinds  of 
vegetables,  such  as  turnips,  cabbage,  onions,  &c. — 
they  were  watered  by  a  small  stream  that  flowed 
from  the  hills  at  a  short  distance  above,  and  w^s 
conducted  round  and  through  the  whole  of  them  by 
gutters  dug  for  that  purpose. 

190  CAPTAIN    RTI.Ey's 


The  owners  of  these  gardens  Hved  in  two  little 
walled  villages,  near  the  top  of  the  bank  on  the  east 
side,  but  they  offered  us  no  refreshment.  We 
passed  in  the  course  of  the  day  three  beds  of 
streams  or  rivers,  which  were  now  dry,  and  one 
whose  mouth  was  filled  with  sand,  so  as  to  stop  its 
communication  with  the  sea,  though  there  was  some 
water  in  it,  where  people  from  all  quarters  were 
watering  their  cows,  sheep,  goats,  asses,  and  camels, 
and  carrying  it  off  in  skins  and  pitchers.  In  the  af- 
ternoon, a  company  of  ten  men  on  horseback,  and 
well-armed,  rode  towards  us  on  the  plain,  making  a 
loud  jingling  with  their  spurs  against  their  stirrups, 
and  crying  out.  Hah!  hah!  hah!  hah!  Our  com- 
pany consisted  of -our  two  masters,  and  two  of  Has- 
sar's  men,  Abdallah,  and  one  stranger,  who  had 
joined  us  that  day,  and  being  armed  with  five  dou- 
ble-barrelled muskets,  and  some  scimitars,  they  all 
sprang  from  their  camels  on  the  approach  of  the 
strangers,  drew  their  guns  from  their  sheaths, 
primed  them  anew,  and  took  a  station  in  front  of 
their  property,  in  a  line  ready  for  action. 

The  horsemen  rode  up  to  within  five  yards  of  our 
men  at  full  speed,  and  then  stopped  their  horses 
short.  I  expected  now  to  see  a  battle,  though  I 
rather  feared  our  men  would  be  trampled  to  death 
by  the  horses ;  for  their  arms  could  not  have  saved 
them  from  the  shock  of  this  impetuous  onset,  yet 
they  were  on  the  point  of  firing  the  moment  the 
horses  stopped.  The  chief  of  the  horsemen  then 
demanded  in  a  very  imperious  tone  who  our  masters 


were  ?  where  they  came  from  ?  if  they  knew  Sidi 
Ishem?  what  countrymen  we,  their  slaves,  were? 
and  where  they  had  found  us?  Sidi  Harnet  replied 
to  all  their  questions  in  a  sharp  quick  manner,  and  as 
briefly  as  possible,  and  in  his  turn  demanded,  "  who 
are  you?  where  do  you  come  from  ?  and,  what  right 
have  you  to  ride  up  to  me  in  such  a  manner,  and 
stop  me  and  my  slaves  on  the  road?"  This  is  as  near 
as  I  could  understand  what  they  said.  A  loud  dis- 
pute was  kept  up  on  both  sides  for  half  an  hour, 
when  it  ceased,  and  we  were  allowed  to  proceed; 
while  the  others  rode  oS  to  the  southward  amon^ 
the  mountains.  The  force  on  both  sides  was  so 
nearly  equal,  that  I  have  little  doubt  this  was  the 
only  circumstance  that  prevented  a  battle. 

We  travelled  on  till  long  after  dark,  when  we 
came  to  a  number  of  tents,  and  stopped  for  tlte 
night,  and  here  we  were  treated  with  some  dried 
muscles  and  barley  pudding.  Hassar  and  his  family 
had  not  travelled  with  us  the  last  day,  but  the  two 
men  who  had  assisted  in  relieving  us  from  our  cri- 
tical situation  on  the  beach,  were  in  company,  and 
we  had  also  been  joined  by  one  more  Arab,  and  two 
camels.  Ever  since  we  had  come  to  the  cultivated 
country,  off  the  desart,  we  had  found  the  people 
sickly;  many  of  them  were  afflicted  with  swelled 
legs,  and  some  with  what  I  took  to  be  the  leprosy; 
and  also  with  pains  in  ditferent  parts  of  their  bodies 
and  limbs ;  though  when  on  the  desart  we  did  not 
see  the  smallest  sign  of  sickness  or  disorder  among 
its  inhabitants.  They  now  considered  us  as  skilled 
in  medicine,  and  consulted  me  wherever  I  came ;  one 


of  the  women  here  had  a  swelled  breast,  which  was 
astonishingly  large,  and  very  much  inflamed :  she 
was  in  such  pain  as  to  crj  out  at  every  breath. 
They  wished  me  to  examine  it,  and  prescribe  a  re- 
medy, which  I  did  by  recommending  a  poultice  of 
the  barley  Ihash,  or  pudding,  to  be  applied,  and  re- 
newed often  until  the  swelling  should  subside  or 
burst.  The  woman  was  very  thankful,  gave  me  a 
drink  of  water  and  a  handful  of  muscles,  and  re- 
quested I  would  examine  a  swelled  leg  of  her  bro- 
ther; this  was  also  inflamed,  and  very  painful : — per- 
ceiving no  skin  broken,  I  directed  a  thick  plaster  of 
coarse  salt  to  be  bound  round  it,  so  as  fully  to  cover 
the  afflicted  part;  this  they  did  immediately,  and 
the  man  thought  he  felt  instantaneous  relief 

From  the  great  expedition  we  had  used,  I  think 
we  must  have  travelled  this  day  about  fifty  miles, 
as  we  were  almost  continually  on  the  camels,  and 
they  going  a  great  part  of  the  time  on  a  trot.  In 
the  afternoon  of  this  day,  we  discovered  land  that 
was  very  high,  a  good  way  eastward  of  us,  stretch- 
ing about  north  as  far  as  the  eye  could  reach.  We 
saw  it  when  on  a  high  hill  and  at  an  immense  dis- 
tance; looking  over  the  ocean,  which  was  near  us,  it 
appeared  hke  a  high  and  distant  island:  "there  is 
Swearah,  Riley,"  (said  Sidi  Hamet)  pointing  to  the 
northernmost  land  in  view :  it  was  a  great  way  off. 
I  asked  him  how  many  days  it  would  take  us  to  get 
there  ?  he  answered,  "  ten,  at  our  slow  pace." 

SUFFERINGS    IN    AFRICA.  *      ]  93 


Their  masters  commit  an  error^  tuhich  ikey  are  compel- 
led to  redress — Sidi  Hamet    and  his  brother   Seid 
fight — Horace'' s  critical  situation — they  come  to  villages. 

October  the  23d,  we  were  awakened  without 
making  any  noise,  two  hours  before  dayhght,  and 
went  on  our  journey:  I  spspected  there* was  some 
roguery  going  on,  because  we  had  never  before 
started  in  the  night;  and  we  had  not  travelled  more 
than  two  leagues,  when,  just  at  the  dawn  of  day, 
we  heard  the  sound  of  horses'  feet  coming  up  at 
full  speed  behind  us,  the  clanking  of  the  arms  of* 
their  riders  against  each  other,  and  spurs  against 
their  stirrups,  made  a  great  noise.  Our  masters 
stripped  the  covers  from  their  guns,  and  gave  them 
to  me  to  carry.  The  horsemen,  four  in  number, 
came  up  by  this  time,  and  passing  us  at  a  short  dis- 
tance on  our  right,  rode  round  before  our  camels, 
and  stopped  them.  Our  men  were  five  in  number, 
with  four  double-barrelled  guns;  and  bidding  me  to 
keep  as  close  to  them  as  possible  with  my  men,  they 
ran  at  their  greatest  speed  to  the  encounter,  whilst 
we  followed  on  as  fast  as  we  could,  fearino;  to  be 
separated  from  them,  (as  it  was  still  quite  dark)  and 
falling  into  the  hands  of  the  banditti.  They  ap- 
proached each  other  with  loud  cries ;  the  voices  of 
those  on  horseback  sounded  like  trumpets,  and  those 
of  our  masters  were  very  little  lower,  so  that  the 
mountains  near   rang    again  with    the    sound.       I 

c  c 


expected    every  moment   a    slaughter  would    com- 
mence :  each  one  strained  his  throat  to  speak,  or 
rather  to  yell  louder  than  his  opponents.     I  had  ap- 
proached near  my  master,  and  could  distinctly  hear 
one  ot"   the   horsemen  accuse   him   of  a   breach  of 
hospitality,  and  reproach  him  in   the  most  opprobri- 
ous  terms,  for   some  wrong  which   he  alleged  had 
been  done  to  him;  the  others  were  at  the  same  time 
wranoflins:  with  our  other  men.     This  war  of  words 
having  subsided  a  little,  one  of  them  asked  my  mas- 
ter his   name,  and  after  considerable  delay  on  ac- 
count of  punctilio,   (each   insisting   that    the  other 
should  tell  his   name  first,)  my  master  told  him  his 
name  was  Sidi  Hamet — the  other  then  said  his  name 
was  Ali  Mohammed : — then   ensued  a  long  dispute 
between  them,   they  mutually  charging  each  other 
with  perfidy,  &c.     During  this  interval,  and  as  day- 
light appeared,  our  adversaries  gained  strength,  for 
they  were  joined  by  many  armed  and  unarmed  men, 
running  on  foot,  and  according  as  they  increased  in 
force,  our  party  lowered  their  tone;  but   the  cla- 
mour  was  still  so  loud  that  I  frequently  could  under= 
stand  nothing  of  what  was  said.     The  Arab  who 
had  joined  our  company  with  two  camels  the  day 
before,  did  not  set  out  with  us  this  morning,  but  he 
now  came  running   up :  our  masters  had  driven  off 
his  camels,  and  this  was  the  cause  of  the  ^proar 
that  was  now  raging.     The  purloined  camels  were 
then  in  our  drove,  and  while  the  others  were  quar- 
rellino-  about  the  matter,  the  owner  ran  round  and 
drove  his  camels  back.     When   our  honest  mastery 
found  thev  could  not  keep  what  they  had  feloniously 


taken,  they  began  to  lower  their  voices.  By  this 
time  the  sun  had  made  its  appearance,  and  for  two 
hours  prior  1  had  every  moment  expected  a  blood}^ 
scuffle.  I  knew  our  masters  were  brave,  but  I  had 
no  doubt  they  would  be  overpowered  by  numbers, 
in  which  event  we  should  fall  to  the  lot  of  the  con- 
querors, who  were  stracgers  to  us;  and  it  was  not 
probable  that  these  men  would  be  as  humane  to  us 
as  Sidi  Hamet  had  been ;  nor  was  I  indeed  certain 
that  we  ourselves  should  not  be  killed  in  the  contest, 
both  parties  being  much  enraged.  I  felt  our  situa- 
tion to  be  dreadful,  indeed  ;  but  at  length  Sidi  Hamet 
spoke  to  Ali  Mohammed  in  a  low  tone  of  voice,  and 
requested  he  would  ride  apart  fjom  the  others  with 
him,  with  which  he  complied,  and  they  came  near 
where  I  sat,  trembling  with  apprehension.  Sidi 
Hamet  now  told  Ali  that  his  party  had  not  the  least 
intention  of  driving  off  any  camels  but  their  own, 
and  that  the  mistake  had  been  occasioned  entirely 
by  the  darkness  of  the  night.  He  then  went  on 
protesting  that  he  was  incapable  of  committing  an 
unworthy  action ;  that  he  abhorred  a  robber  and  a 
thief,  and  that  as  he  was  entirely  innocent  of  inten- 
tionally driving  off  the  man's  camels,  he  would  not 
acknowledge  he  had  done  wrong  designedly,  but 
would  rather  lose  his  life  in  maintaining  his  charac- 
ter, and  would  sell  it  as  dearly  as  possible.  »^li 
Mohammed  on  this  appeared  to  be  satisfied,  and  said 
to  him,  "  I  am  el  llais,  (the  chief)  and  am  your 
friend,"  because  you  are  a  brave  man :"  so  making 
Sidi  Hamet's  excuse  to  those  abouthira,  ^nd  the  lost 


camels  being  recovered,  thej  left  us  to  pursue  our 

We  had  gone  up  from  the  sea-bord,  and  were 
passing  between  high  mountains  towards  the  south- 
east, when  the  late  affray  happened,  but  about  noon 
we  reached  a  plain,  and  took  an  eastern  direction. 
Hassar's  men  with  their  camels,  and  Abdaliah  with 
his  camel,  now  filed  off  to  the  left,  leaving  us  with 
our  masters  and  their  own  camels  only,  and  were 
soon  out  of  sight,  among  the  bushes.  The  mortify- 
ing result  of  the  morning's  enterprise,  had  rendered 
Seid  uncommonly  ill  natured;  he  had  claimed  Horace 
as  his  slave  from  the  very  beginning,  and  Mr.  Sa- 
vage also  belonged  to  him.  He  had  always  doubted 
my  word  to  his  brother,  and  would  not  believe  that 
a  miserable  Avretch  like  me  could  find  a  friend  to 
advance  money  for  my  ransom,  though  both  he,  Has- 
sar,  and  all  the  company,  had  a  high  opinion  of  my 
courage,  since  I  put  my  own  life  in  jeopardy  to  save 
that  of  Mr.  Savap-e,  at  the  time  he  fainted  : — Seid 
had  endeavoured  to  sell  his  slaves  at  every  place  we 
came  to,  after  leaving  the  dcsart.  Hassar,  as  well 
as  others,  took  a  particular  fancy  to  Horace,  and 
had  offered  a  large  sum  for  him  in  camels  and 
other  merchantlise,  but  the  interference  of  Sidi 
Hamet,  who  had  sworn  that  Horace  should  not  be 
separated  from  me,  aided  by  my  often  renewed  en- 
treaties and  my  tears,  whenever  I  heard  it  suggest- 
ed, had  saved  him  thus  far.  As  we  were  now  ap- 
proaching the  Moorish  dominions,  powerful  chiefs, 
with  large  bodies  of  armed  men  intent  on  plunder, 


were  riding  about  and  scouring  the  country  in  every 
direction,  and  Seid  had  come  to  a  determination  to 
take  his  slaves  and  make  the  most  of  them.  Seid 
Avas  a  younger  brother  of  Sidi  Hamet,  and  had,  until 
now,  submitted  In  some  degree  to  his  counsel,  though 
they  had  many  slight  quarrels  at  diiferent  periods  of 
the  journey.  Where  we  stopped  the  preceding 
night,  the  Arabs  strove  hard  to  get  possession  of 
Horace.  Seid  had  to  my  knowledge  made  a  bargain 
to  sell  him  in  the  morning,  but  was  dissuaded  from 
fulfilling  it,  by  his  brother. 

We,  slaves,  were  now  five  in  all,  travelhng  on  foot, 
but  moving  forward  very  slowly,  for  we  were  w-orn 
to  the  bones  by  our  various  and  complicated  suffer- 
ings. It  seemed  that  the  breath  of  hope  alone  had 
kept  the  vital  spark  from  being  totally  extinguished. 
Sidi  Hamet  w^as  riding  on  his  big  camiel  before  us, 
when  Seid  ordered  us  to  halt,  but  the  other  desired 
us  to  come  on;  upon  which  Seid  laid  hold  of  Mr. 
Savage  and  Horace,  and  stopped  them.  It  was  now 
that  Sidi  Hamet's  wrath  was  kindled — he  leaped 
from  his  camel,  and  darting  like  lightning  up  to  Seid, 
laid  hold  of  him,  and  disengaged  Mr.  Savage  and 
Horace  from  his  grasp.  They  clinched  each  other 
like  lions,  and  with  fury  in  their  look^,  each  strove 
to  throw  the  other  to  the  ground.  Seid  was  the 
largest  and  stoutest  man;  they  writhed  and  twired 
in  every  shape  until  both  fell,  but  Sidi  Hamet  was 
undermost:  fire  seemed  to  flash  from  their  eyes, 
whilst  they  twisted  around  each  other  like  a  couple 
of  serpents,  until  at  length  Sidi  Hamet,  by  superior 
activity  or  skill,  disengaged  himself  from  his  brother's 


grasn,  and  both  sprang  up  on  their  feet.  Instantly 
they  fciiatched  their  muskets  at  the  same  moment, 
and  each  retirino-  a  few  paces  with  great  rapidity  and 
indignation,  tue  the  cloth  covers  from  their  guns, 
and  presented  them  at  each  other's  breast  with 
dreadful  toty : — they  were  not  more  than  ten  yards 
asunder,  and  both  must  have  fallen  dead,  had  they 
fired.  Horror  had  seized  and  chilled  my  blood,  so 
that  I  could  neither  get  from  them,  nor  move,  indeed, 
in  any  direction.  My  mind  was  filled  with  inex- 
pressible apprehensions — "my  God,  (I  cried  aloud) 
have  mercy  on  these  unfortunate  brothers,  I  pray 
thee,  for  our  sakes,  and  suflbr  them  not  to  spill  eacb 
other's  blood."  In  the  midst  of  this  ejaculation,  I 
was  started  by  the  report  of  two  muskets,  and 
imag-ined  that  both  the  brothers  had  fallen ;  but  on 
turning  my  eyes  again  to  this  direful  scene,  I  per- 
ceived that  Sidi  Hamet  had  fired  the  contents  of  both 
his  barrels  into  the  air,  having  had  a  moment's  re- 
flection, whilst  priming  and  cocking  his  piece.  He 
now  threw  it  on  the  ground,  then  making  bare  his 
bosom.,  he  advanced  with  a  firm  step  towards  Seid, 
and  with  an  energetic  voice,  exclaimed,  "  I  am  now 
unarmed,  fire !  your  brother's  heart  is  ready  to  le- 
ceive  your  balls ;  glut  your  vengeance  on  your  be- 
nefactor." He  stopped  short;  Seld  hesitated.  Mr. 
Savage  and  Horace  were  near  Seid,  who  threatened 
them  with  instant  death  if  they  moved.  Sidi  Hamet 
finding  his  brother's  mind  wavered,  ran  to  Horace, 
and  sent  him  towards  me,  telling  his  brother,  he 
should  have  Clark  in  Horace's  stead,  whom  he  or- 
dered to  come  near,  but  Seld  would  not  consent  to 


the  exchange,  whereupon  my  master  added  Burns  ; 
that  is,  two  for  one.     Seid  had  made  Mr.  Savae:e  sit 
down,  and  had   placed  one  of  his  feet  on  his  thigli, 
to  keep  him  there ;  while  his  brother  ordered  me  to 
go  with  Horace,  first  to  tlie  south  and  then  to  the 
eastward,   following  the  camels;  still  resolving  that 
we  should  not  be  separated,  and  bade  Mr.   Savage 
follow  us,  but  Seid,  presenting  his  gun,  told  him  if 
lie  offered  to  go,  he  would  blow  his  brains  out.     As 
Sidi  Hamet,  however,  bade  him  run,  he  obeyed,  and 
when  he  came  near  me,  we  were  all  ordered  to  stop, 
and  our  masters  seated  themselves  on  the  g-round  to 
settle  the  dispute  by  figuring  on  the  sand  with  their 
fingers.     Here  they  calculated  it  every  way.    Clark 
and  Burns  were  again  offered  for  Horace,  but  Seid 
would  not  take  them :  he  would  keep  the  slave  he 
had  bought  with  his  money  :  "  you  shall  not  separate 
him  from  his  father,  (said  my  master)  I  have  sworn 
it."     *'Then  I  will  destroy  him,"  exclaimed  Seid  fu- 
riously, and  springing  up,   he  seized  Horace  by  the 
breast,  and  dashed  him  on  the  ground  with  all  his 
miofht.     The  force  of  the  blow  beat  the  breath  from 
his  body,  and  he  lay  stretched  out,  apparently  dead. 
Overwhelmed  with  the  most  heart-rending  emotions, 
I  sank  to  the   earth   in  an  agony  of  despair.     My 
Blaster   observing   my   anguish,  said,   "  go,    Riley," 
pointing  to  the  east.     With  tears  and  sobs,  I  told 
him  I  could  not  go,  for  Horace,  my  son,  was  dead. 
After   a  flood   of   tears    had    relieved   ray   swelling 
heart,  I  reflected  that  it  was  useless  to  bewail  the 
fate  of  my  adopted  child,  as  I  did  not  know  how  soon 
it  might  be  my  turn  to  suifer  a  similar,  or  perhaps  a 


more  cruel  death.  SeiJ's  passion  now  began  to  sub- 
side a  little,  and  my  master  then  went  to  Horace, 
and  taking  him  by  the  hands,  raised  him  upon  his 
seat :  his  breath  returned,  and  he  revived.  Sidl 
Hamet  melted  into  tears  at  the  sight:  I  saw  the 
big  drops  roll  down  his  cheeks,  while  in  a  tender 
tone,  he  said  to  Horace,  "  go  to  Riley."  The  spot 
where  his  head  fell,  happened  to  be  clear  of  stones, 
which  entirely  covered  the  ground  on  every  side, 
otherwise  his  brains  must  have  been  dashed  out.  I 
went  up  to  him  as  quick  as  I  could,  and  folding  him 
in  my  arms,  asked  him  if  he  was  much  hurt;  but 
being  in  great  pain,  and  his  breathing  being  not  yet 
perfectly  restored,  he  was  incapable  of  answering 
me :  his  heart,  however,  was  in  unison  with  mine,  in 
thanking  the  Author  of  our  being  that  his  life  was 
spared,  and  in  imploring  his  future  protection.  Our 
masters  again  seated  themselves,  in  order  to  discuss 
this  affair  thoroughly,  and  began  to  speak  very  loud, 
when,  fortunately  for  us,  some  strangers  came  in 
sight,  which  reminded  them  that  their  united  force 
was  necessary  for  the  defence  of  themselves  and 
their  property;  so  they  agreed  to  seek  a  village, 
and  take  council  as  to  what  was  best  to  be  done. 

Then  turning  to  our  left  up  a  hill,  we  soon  came  in 
sight  of  a  village,  and  entered  it  by  passing  between 
high  walls.  Having  come  to  its  farther  extremity,  an 
old,  but  a  very  respectable  looking  man,  (a  Moor) 
of  a  light  olive  colour,  came  out  of  his  gate,  and 
welcomed  our  masters,  saluting  them,  (as  is  cus- 
tomary) and  seeing  us  behind,  told  us  to  sit  down  in 
a  shade  formed  by  his  wall,  and  rest  ourselves: 


adding,  "  I  will  give  you  some  food."     We  accord- 
ingly all   seated  ourselves,  and  while  the  food  was 
preparing,  our  host  inquired   much  about  me  and 
my  men,  and  wished  to  know  how  I  could  make 
myself  understood,  (being  a  Christian.)     Our  own- 
ers told  him   all  our  stories,   together  with  my  pro- 
mises, which   they  made  me    repeat    in    his    pre-? 
sence.     They  wanted  again  to  know  in  what   my 
property  consisted;  if  I  had  any  money  in  my  own 
country,  or  a  house;  how  much  money,  how  many 
horses,  cows,  sheep,  goats,  asses,  camels,  &c  ?  and 
lastly,  what   number  of  wives   and  children  I  had. 
Having  answered  all  these  interrogations  to  their 
satisfaction,  they  made  me  tell  what  Mr.  Savage, 
Horace,  Clark,  and  Burns,  were  worth  to  me  ?  how 
much    property  I   thought   they  had   in  their  own 
country.'^  and  our  host,  who  spoke  a  few  words  of 
broken  Spanish,  asked  me  if  Swearah  was  not  called 
JHogdola  by  the  English  ?  I  answered  in  the  affirma- 
tive : — this  was  the  first  time  I  had  heard  this  name 
mentioned  on   this  continent,   though  I  had  endea- 
voured by  inquiring  of  all  the   people  I  had  spoken 
with  to  ascertain  the  point;  but  it  appeared  they  had 
never  heard  of  the  name.     One  bowl  of  boiled  bar- 
ley unhulled,  was  brought  out  to  our  masters,  and 
one  for  us — this  last  was  a  very  large  one,  and  the 
old  host  told  us  to  eat,  saying,  "  coole  rais^^''  {eat  cap- 
tain.)    ^^  e  had  now  before  us,  for  the  first  time, 
enough  of  this  food,  and  falling-to  with  keen  appe- 
tites,   we  filled  our  stomachs,   and   were    satisfied, 
leaving  some  in  the  bowl,  which  they  tried  hard  to 
make  us  finish,  but  we  could  not.     Sidi  Hamet  would 


not   trust  himself  again  with  his   brother,   without 
having  some  person  in  company  to  take  his  part ;  so 
he  hired  a  stout  young  fellow,  named  Bo- Mohammed, 
to  go  along  with  us  to  another  place  or  village,  not 
far  distant,  and  we  set  off  for  it,   travelling  at  first 
down  towards  the  sea-coast,  and  passing  along  a 
kind  of  sandy  beach,  where  the  salt  water  flowed  iu 
at  high  tides,  we   saw  there,  under  the  side  of  a 
shelving  rock,   two  boiling  springs  of  fresh  water, 
which  formed  a  considerable  stream.     This  was  the 
first  spring  I  had  seen  in  this  country,  and  having 
taken  a  good  drink  and  watered  our  camels,  we  pro- 
ceeded toward  the  south-east  among  sands  that  had 
drifted  from  the  sea-beach;  there  we  remained  until 
it  was  nearly  dark,  our  masters  fearing,  as  it  were, 
to  go  forward.     About  dark  we  resumed  our  course, 
and   soon   afterwards  arrived   at   a  village,  where, 
while   the  barking  of  numerous  dogs  announced  to 
their  owners  the  arrival  of  strangers,  a  grave  look- 
ing man  came  out,  and  silencing  the  curs,  bade  our 
masters  welcome,  and  invited  both  them  and   us  to 
sit  down  near  his  walls,  until  he  should  prepare  some 
supper.      We   had    no    desire,   however,   for  food, 
some  of  us  having  oppressed  our  stomachs  to  such  a 
deirree  with  the  boiled  barlev,  as  to  be  racked  with 
pain,  and   scarce  able  to  breatlie,   particularly  Mr. 
Savage.     Our   present   host,   (whose   name   I  soon 
learned  was  Sidi  JHohammed^  after  causing  a  mat  to 
be    spread    near  his   wall,  seated   himself  and  our 
masters  thereon,  arid  desired  me  to  come  and  do  the 
same.      He   now    made    similar   inquiries    with  the 
former  persons  we  had  met,  and  I  satisfied  his  ruri- 


osity  as  well  as  I  could.  He  then  informed  me  he 
had  been  many  times  in  Swearah,  and  had  seen  the 
consuls,  and  wished  me 'to  repeat  my  promise  to 
Sidi  Hamet,  which  I  did.  He  had  a  lamp  for  a  light, 
so  that  he  could  see  every  motion  that  I  made  well 
enough  to  comprehend  me  entirely.  By  this  time 
some  cakes  had  been  baked,  which  were  presented 
to  our  masters,  and  of  which  they  gave  us  some : 
these  cakes  were  made  of  barley  meal,  ground 
coarse ;  yet  it  was  bread,  and  it  being  the  first  we 
had  seen,  we  ate  a  little  of  it,  though  our  stomachs 
were  not  yet  prepared  to  enjoy  the  treat.  After 
they  had  eaten  and  washed  their  hands  and  feet,  and 
talked  over  their  aOairs,  Sidi  Hamet  again  called  me 
to  liim,  and  told  me  he  should  set  out  in  the  morning 
for  Swearah  in  company  with  our  host,  Sidi  Moham- 
med, where  he  hoped,  with  God's  blessing,  to  arrive 
in  three  days,  for  he  should  travel  on  a  mule,  buge- 
iah,  and  push  on  night  and  day :  that  I  must  write 
«,  letter  to  my  friend,  which  he  would  carry,  and 
said  he,  "  if  your  friend  will  fulfil  your  engagements 
and  pay  the  money  for  you  and  your  men,  you  shall 
be  free ;  if  not,  you  must  die,  for  having  deceived 
me,  and  your  men  shall  be  sold  for  what  they  will 
bring.  I  have  fought  for  you,  (added  he)  have  suf- 
fered hunger,  thirst,  and  fatigue,  to  restore  you  to 
your  family,  for  I  believe  God  is  with  you.  I  have 
paid  away  all  my  money  on  your  word  alone:  Seid 
and  Bo-Mohammed  will  stay  and  guard  you  during 
my  absence;  they  will  give  you  as  much  kfiobs 
(bread)  and  riiash  (pudding)  as  you  can  eat;  so  go 
and  sleep  till  morning.*'     This  night  was  spent  on 


my  part  in  a  state  of  anxiety  not  easy  to  conceive.* 
to  whom  should  I  write  ?  I  knew  no  body  at  Moga- 
dore,  and  yet  I  must  take  my  chance.  I  remember- 
ed my  remarkable  dream — it  had  literally  come  to 
pass  thus  far, — why  should  I  doubt  its  whole  accom- 
plishment ;  yet  I  could  not  rest. 


The  author  writes  a  letter — Sidi  Hamet  sets  out  with  it 
for  Swearah — the  arrival  of  Sheick  Ali,  an  extraor^ 
dinary  character, 

^ARLY  the  next  morning  we  were  called  up  and 
clirected  to  go  within  the  gates.  My  master  said  to 
me— "come,  Riley,  write  a  letter,"  giving  me  at  the 
same  time  a  scrap  of  paper^  not  so  wide  as  my  hand, 
and  about  eight  inches  long ;  he  had  also  got  a  little 
black  staining  liquid  and  a  reed  to  write  with.  I 
oow  begged  hard  to  be  taken  along  with  him,  but  he 
would  not  consent,  though  I  told  him  I  Would  leave 
my  son,  whom  I  loved  more  than  myself,  behind  me 
as  an  hostage,  and  three  men ;  but  all  would  not  do, 
the  thing  was  determined  on.  He  then  told  me, 
that  what  I  had  agreed  to  give  him  was  not  suffi- 
cient ;  that  I  must  tell  my  friend,  in  the  letter,  to  pay 
iwo  hundred  dollars  cr  myself,  two  hundred  for 
Horace,  two  hundred  for  Aaron,  one  hundred  and 
sixty  for  Clark,  and  the  same  for  Burns,  adding  that 
I  had  promised  hira  a  good  double-barrelled  gun^ 


and  I  must  give  him  that,  and  one  to  Seid  also. 
''<■  Seid  is  a  bad  man,  (said  he)  but  helped  to  save 
your  life,  and  must  have  a  gun."  So  I  took  the  reed, 
and  wrote  on  the  slip  of  paper,  as  near  as  I  can  re- 
collect, the  following  letter. 

"  The  brig  Commerce  from  Gibraltar  for  Ameri- 
ca, was  wrecked  on  Cape  Bajador,  on  the  28th 
August  last ;  myself  and  four  of  my  crew  are  here 
nearly  naked  in  Barbarian  slavery:  1  conjure  you 
by  all  the  ties  that  bind  man  to  man,  by  those  of 
kindred  blood,  and  every  thing  you  hold  most  dear, 
and  by  as  much  as  liberty  is  dearer  than  life,  to  ad- 
vance the  money  required  for  our  redemption,  which 
is  nine  hundred  and  twenty  dollars,  and  two  double- 
barrelled  guns :  I  can  draw  for  any  amount,  the 
moment  I  am  at  liberty,  on  Batard,  Sampson  & 
Sharp,  London — Cropper  &  Benson,  Liverpool — 
Munroe  &  Burton,  Lisbon,  or  on  Horatio  Sprague, 
Gibraltar.  Should  you  not  relieve  me,  my  life  must 
instantly  pay  the  forfeit.  I  leave  a  wife  and  five 
helpless  children  to  deplore  my  death.  My  com- 
panions are  Aaron  B.  Savage,  Horace  Savage,  James 
Clark,  and  Thomas  Burns.  I  left  six  more  in 
slavery  on  the  desart.  My  present  master,  Sidi 
Hamet,  will  hand  you  this,  and  tell  you  where  we 
are — he  is  a  worthy  man.  Worn  down  to  the  bones 
by  the  most  dreadful  of  all  sufferings — naked  and  a 
slave,  I  implore  your  pity,  and  trust  that  such  dis- 
tress will  not  be  suffered  to  plead  in  vain.     For 


God's  sake,  send  an  interpreter  and  a  guard  for  us, 
if  that  is  possible.     I  speak  French  and  Spanish. 

James  Riley,  late  Master  and  Super- 
cargo of  the  brig  Commerce. 

While  I  was  writing  the  above,  they  procured  an 
additional  scrap  of  paper,  being  a  part  of  a  Spanish 
bill  of  lading,  on  which  I  wrote  a  part  of  ray  letter, 
that  could  not  be  written  legibly  on  the  first  scrap. 
Having  folded  them  up,  I  dii-ected  them  to  the  ''Eng- 
lish, French,  vSpanish,  or  American  consuls,  or  any 
Christian  merchants  in  Mogadore  or  Swearah."  I 
purposely  omitted  mentioning  that  we  were  Ameri- 
cans, because  I  did  not  know  that  there  was  an 
American  ajrent  there, 'fend  I  had  no  doubt  of  there 
being  an  English  consul  or  agent  in  that  place.  My 
master  was  hurrying  me  while  I  was  writing,  and 
both  he  and  my  host,  Seid,  and  the  young  man,  and 
many  others  who  stood  by,  were  surprised  to  see 
me  make  the  Arabic  numerals  ;  for  the  characters 
we  use  in  arithmetic  are  no  other  than  the  real  an- 
cient Arabic  fijrures,  which  have  served  them  for 
thousands  of  years;  they  remarked  to  each  other 
that  I  must  have  been  a  slave  before,  to  some  Ara- 
bian who  had  taught  me  the  use  of  them,  contrary 
to  their  law,  because  he  had  found  me  to  be  a  smart 
active  fellow.  My  master  taking  my  letter,  then 
mounted  one  mule,  and  Sidi  Mohammed  another, 
and  rode  off  together  very  fast  to  the  east. 

We  remained  here  seven  days,  during  which  time 
ibey  kept  us   shut  up   in  the  yard  in  the  day  time. 


where  tlic  cows,  sheep,  and  asses  rested,  and  at 
night  they  locked  us  up  in  a  dreary  cellar.  Seid  and 
Bo  Mohammed  guarded  us  all  the  day,  not  because 
they  feared  we  would  attempt  to  escape,  but  because 
some  of  the  neighbouring  people  might  steal  and 
run  off  with  us,  and  in  the  night  time  they  lay  on 
their  arms  outside  the  door,  to  prevent  a  surprise. 
We  had  as  much  barley-bread  twice  a  day  as  we 
wanted,  I'hash  once  a  day,  and  plenty  of  water. 
This  food,  though  palatable,  produced  and  kept  up 
a  continual  dysentery ;  our  bowels  seemed  to  fer- 
ment like  beer,  and  we  were  tortured  with  cholics. 
Our  numerous  sores  had  now  time  to  heal,  and  our 
bodies  became  mostly  skinned  over  before  our  mas- 
ters returned  ;  but  the  ho^morroids  distressed  us  es- 
tremely.  Ail  the  inhabitants  who  lived  near,  and  all 
those  who  Tieard  that  Christians  were  in  the  place, 
(for  they  call  all  Europeans  Christians)  came  to  see 
us.  Some  werevery  familiar,  and  all  wished  to 
know  if  we  were  mechanics :  from  that  circumstance 
I  concluded  that  mechanics  were  very  much  wanted, 
and  of  great  importance  among  tiiese  people,  and 
that  there  would  be  no  possibility  of  getting  clear  of 
them,  if  once  they  should  find  out  our  usefulness  in 
that  way.  I  therefore  told  them  that  we  were  all 
brought  up  sailors  from  our  childhood,  and  knew  no 
other  business.  One  tried  to  make  me  lay  out  and 
hew  a  }«air  of  posts  for  a  door  to  a  house  that  was 
building  within  the  walls  of  the  village,  and  gave 
me  a  line  to  measure  the  length  of  them,  and  tried 
to  teach  me  to  span  it  otf;  but  I  would  not  under- 
stand him.     They  next  put  a  kind  of  adze  into  my 


hand,  and  bade  me  lit  the  posts  In.  I  took  the  tool, 
and  began  to  cut  at  random,  gouging  out  a  piece 
here,  and  sphtting  it  there,  doing  more  hurt  than 
good ;  and,  at  the  same  time,  by  my  awkward  and 
clumsy  manner,  taking  care  to  make  them  believe 
that  I  could  do  no  better.  Some  were  satisfied  that 
I  had  done  my  very  best,  but  by  far  the  greater  part 
of  them  were  of  opinion  that  a  smart  application  of 
^he  whip  would  put  my  mechanical  powers  into 
complete  operation,  and  I  really  expected  they  would 
apply  this  stimulus;  for  one  of  them  ran  and  fetched 
a  stout  stick,  and  was  about  to  lay  it  on,  when  Bo 
Mohammed,  who  represented  Sidi  Hamet,  interfered 
and  saved  me  from  a  cudgelling.  Mr.  Savage,  Clark, 
Burns,  and  Horace,  were  each  tried  in  their  turns, 
who  following  my  instructions,  were  soon  relieved 
from  all  further  requisition.  From  this  circumstance 
it  is  evident,  that  the  less  useful  a  Christian  makes 
himself  when  a  slave  to  the  Arabs,  especially  in  a 
mechanical  way,  the  less  value  they  will  set  upon 
him,  and  he  will  not  only  have  a  chance  of  getting 
ransomed,  but  it  may  be  effected  on  easier  terms 
than  otherwise;  for  I  am  fully  convinced,  that  if  we 
had  shown  ourselves  capable  in  those  arts,  which  the 
Arabs  highly  prize,  such  as  carpenters,  smiths,  shoe- 
makers, &c.  &c.  we  should  have  been  sold  at  high 
prices,  and  soon  carried  away  beyond  the  possibility 
of  redemption. 

Four  days  after  Sidi  Hamet's  departure,  some  pa- 
pers were  shown  to  me  by  one  of  the  men  who  lived 
in  the  neighbourhood,  which  I  found,  on  examination, 
■to  he,  first,  the   register  of  the  Spanish  schooner 


Maria,  issued  by  the  custom-house  at  Cadiz 
in  May  1^U4;  second — a  bill  of  sale  of  the  same 
schooner,  made  out  at  the  island  of  Grand  Canary 
in  1812,  of  the  same  date  with  the  register.  Many 
articles  of  clothing  that  had  belonged  to  her  crew 
were  also  shown  me  ;  and  the  topmast,  jib-boom,  and 
other  small  spars  of  a  vessel,  served  to  support  the 
floor  over  our  nightly  prison.  I  made  inquiries,  as 
far  as  it  was  possible,  in  order  to  find  out  something 
respecting  this  vessel,  which  I  presumed  must  have 
been  wrecked  near  this  place ;  and  was  informed 
that  the  preceding  year  a  schooner  anchored  on 
this  part  of  the  coast  to  catch  fish,  and  to  trade; 
that  these  people  found  means  to  get  alongside  of 
her  in  the  night  in  boats,  and  after  killing  the  cap- 
tain and  three  men,  got  possession  of  her ;  when  hav- 
ing taken  out  the  money  and  other  valuables,  they 
cut  her  cables,  and  ran  her  on  shore  :  that  they  then 
made  the  surviving  part  of  the  crew  assist  in  tearing 
the  wreck  to  pieces,  and  in  carrying  it  up  to  build 
houses  with.  I  asked  bow  many  people  were  on 
board  her,  and  where  the  remainder  of  the  crew 
were ;  and  was  informed,  by  a  serious  looking  old 
man,  that  it  consisted  of  seventeen  souls  at  first; 
that  four  were  slain  in  the  conflict  when  she  was 
captured;  that  five  more  had  died  since,  and  that  the 
remaining  eight  were  a  great  way  off  to  the  south- 
east, where  they  were  employed  in  working  on  the 
land  and  making  houses.  Others  said,  they  had 
gone  to  Swearah,  and  from  thence  to  their  own 
country ;  but  I  could  easily  perceive  by  their  looks 
that   those   poor  fellows  had  either  been  massacred, 

E  e 


or  were  now  held  in  slavery^  where  neither  the  voice 
of  Hberty,  nor  the  hand  of  friendship,  was  ever  hke- 
\y  to  reach  them.  The  people  here,  both  old  and 
young,  could  speak  many  words  of  Spanish,  though 
they  did  not  know  their  meaning,  but  made  use  of 
them  at  a  venture  at  all  times — these  were  a  set  of 
the  very  coarsest  and  most  vulgar  words  the  Spanish 
language  affords,  and  had  been  uttered,  no  doubt, 
by  poor  unfortunate  slaves,  natives  of  Spain,  when 
they  were  suffering  the  greatest  misery,  and  when 
execrating  these  savages.  One  young  fellow  spoke 
several  words  of  English,  such'as,  "  good  morning — 
good  night,"  &lc.  and  was  master  of  a  considerable 
list  of  curses.  He  one  day  came  up  to  Mr.  Savage, 
and  said—"  button,  cut  it  wit  a  nif,*'  and  at  the  same 
time  laid  hold  of  a  button  on  his  pantaloons.  Mr. 
Savage  was  very  much  surprised  to  hear  a  language 
he  could  understand,  but  these  words  and  the  oaths 
and  curses  constituted  the  whole  of  his  Enorlish 
education.  Every  person  here  had  either  a  long 
knife  or  a  scimitar  always  slung  by  his  side.  Among 
the  rest,  several  negroes  came  to  look  at  us,  some 
of  whom  were  slaves  and  some  free,  and  they  were 
all  Moliammedans — 'these  were  allowed  to  sit  on  a 
mat  beside  our  masters,  and  make  remarks  on  us  as 
we  were  placed  among  the  fresh  manure  'at  a  short 
distance.  Seid  desired  to  know  what  we  called 
black  men;  I  told  him  negroes,  at  which  name  the 
negroes  seemed  very  indignant,  and  much  enraged. 
On  the  sixth  day  of  my  master's  absence,  a  man 
arrived  and  took  up  his  lodging  with  our  guards-— 
he  was  about  six  feet  in  height,  and  proportionably 


stout;  his  colour  was  something  between  that  of  a 
negro  and  an  Arab;  when  he  came  in  he  was  saluted 
bj  Seid  and  the  others  in  company  bj  the  name  oi 
Sheick  Ali^  (or  Ah  the  chief.)  This  man  possessed 
talents  of  that  superior  cast  which  never  fail  to 
command  the  greatest  respect,  and  at  the  same  time 
to  inspire  dread,  awe,  and  reverence.  He  appeared 
to  be  only  a  guest  or  visitor.  In  his  deportment  be 
was  grave  and  dignified :  he  raised  his  voice  on  oc- 
casions terribly,  and  spoke  in  tones  almost  of  thun- 
der; yet  when  he  wished  to  please  by  condescen- 
sion and  courtesy,  it  thrilled  on  the  ear  like  sounds 
of  softest  music;  his  manner  and  air  were  very 
commanding,  and  his  whole  aspect  and  demeanour 
bore  the  stamp  of  the  most  daring  courage  and  un- 
flinching firmness.  He  was  the  most  eloquent  man 
I  had  ever  heard  speak ;  persuasion  dwelt  upon  his 
tongue ;  while  he  spoke,  all  the  company  observed 
the  most  profound  silence,  and  with  open  mouths 
seemed  to  inhale  his  honied  sentences.  He  pro- 
nounced with  the  most  perfect  emphasis ;  the  ele- 
gant cadence  so  much  admired  in  eastern  oratory 
seemed  to  have  acquired  new  beauties  from  his 
manner  of  delivery :  his  articulatioH  was  so  clear 
and  distinct,  and  his  countenance  and  actions  so  in- 
telligent and  expressive,  that  I  could  understand 
him  perfectly,  though  he  spoke  in  the  Arabic  lan- 
guage. He  would  settle  all  controverted  points 
among  the  disputants  when  applied  to,  in  an  instant, 
and  yet  with  the  utmost  gracefulness  and  dignity. 
This  extraordinary  chief  was  often  conversing  in  a 
low  tone  of  voice  with  Seid  respecting  me  and  my 

^12  CAPTAIN  riley's  warrativ;e. 

tnen — he  said  he  beheved  me  to  be  a  very  artful  fel; 
low,  and  capable  of  any  action,  either  good  or  bad; 
And  said  he  did  not  doubt  but  my  friends  would 
raise  any  sum  of  money  that  might  be  demanded  for 
my  ransom.  He  regretted  very  much  that  he  had 
not  seen  Sidi  Hamet  before  he  set  out  for  Swearah, 
and  concluded  to  remain  with  us  until  his  return. 
He  questioned  me  very  particularly  as  to  my  country, 
my  friends,  family,  property,  &lc. — he  also  wished 
to  know  all  the  story  of  my  shipwreck,  and  was 
Very  curious  to  find  out  what  quantity  of  money  and 
what  other  property  fell  into  the  hands  of  those  who 
first  met  with  us  after  the  vessel  was  wrecked,  and 
w^hat  crime  was  committed  to  induce  these  Mosle- 
min  to  kill  Antonio.  He  next  examined  our  bo- 
dies all  over,  and  on  one  of  Clark's  arms  his  atten- 
tion was  arrested  by  a  cross,  and  several  other 
marks  of  Christian  insignia  that  had  been  pricked  in 
with  Indian  ink,  in  the  manner  of  the  Spanish  and 
other  sailors;  the  stain  remained  entire,  though  the 
skin  had  many  times  been  changed,  and  now  seemed 
drawn  tight  over  the  bone.  This  being  a  conclusive 
proof  in  the  Sheick's  mind  of  Christianity^  he  pro- 
nounced him  "  a  Spaniard,"  and  said  he  should  not 
be  redeemed,  but  must  go  to  the  mountains,  and 
work  with  him.  Every  thing  that  this  man  said, 
seemed  to  carry  with  it  a  weight  that  bore  down  all 

We  had,  during  Sidi  Hamet's  absence,  (after  the 
fifth  day)  been  in  constant  expectation  of  receiving 
tiews  from  him,  or  that  he  himself  would  return,  and 
our  keepers  inquired  of  every  stranger  who  canle 

S.UFPER1NGS    iiV    AFRICA.  2 13 

from  the  eastward,  if  they  had  seen  him,  but  ob- 
tained no  news  until  the  seventh  dayj  when  one  of 
the  most  fierce  and  ill-looking  men  I  had  ever  be- 
held, approached  the  wall,  and  hailed  Scid  by  name, 
ordering  him  in  animperious  tone  to  open  the  gate 
directly.  Seid  demanded  to  know  who  he  was — he 
replied,  Ullah  Omar ;  that  he  came  from  Swearah, 
and  had  met  Sidi  Hamet  near  that  place,  W'ho  re- 
quested him  to  call  and  tell  Seid  where  he  was,  and 
that  God  had  prospered  his  journey  so  far.  The 
gate  was  now  opened,  and  the  stranger  entered : 
he  was  of  a  dark  complexion,  nearly  six  feet  in 
height,  and  extremely  muscular;  had  a  long  musket 
in  his  hand,  a  pair  of  horse  pistols  hanging  in  his  belt, 
and  a  scimitar  and  two  long  knives  slung  by  his 
jides,  with  the  haick  or  blanket  for  a  dress,  and  a 
large  white  turban  on  his  head ;  he  had  a  pair  of 
long  iron  spurs,  which  were  fastened  to  his  slippers 
of  yellow  Morocco  leather;  ho  rode  a  beautiful 
horse,  which  seemed  fleet  and  vigorous,  and  he  ap- 
peared to  be  about  forty  years  of  age.  This  was 
the  first  man  I  had  seen  harnessed  in  this  way. 
Sheick  AH  knew  him,  and  shook  him  most  cordially 
by  the  hand,  and  after  exchanging  salutations  all 
tound,  hearing  I  was  the  captain,  he  addressed  me, 
and  told  me  he  had  seen  my  friend,  Sidi  Hamet; 
that  he  met  him  within  one  day's  ride  of  Swearah; 
that  he  would  no  doubt  be  here  on  the  morrow,  for 
that  God  had  prospered  his  journey  on  account  of 
me,  and  added,  that  he  hoped  my  friend  in  Swearah 
or  Mogdola  would  be  as  true  to  me  as  Sidi  Hamet 
was :  he  then  spoke  to  all  my  men,  who,  though 


they  did  not  understand  him,  yet  were  rejoiced  to 
hear,  tlirough  me,  that  there  was  a  prospect  of  my 
master's  returning  soon.  This  man  had  two  powder 
horns  slung-  from  his  neck,  and  a  pouch,  in  which  he 
carried  a  wooden  pipe  and  some  tobacco,  besides  a 
plenty  of  leaden  balls  and  slugs.  My  shipmates 
wanted  some  tobacco  very  much,  and  I  asked  him 
for  a  little,  upon  which  he  gave  me  a  handful  of 
very  good  tobacco,  and  seemed  exceedingly  pleased 
to  have  it  in  his  power  to  administer  comfort  to  such 
miserable  beings.  1  imagined  from  his  whole  de- 
portment that  he  resembled  one  of  those  high-spi- 
rited, heroic,  and  generous  robbers,  that  are  so  ad- 
mirably described  in  ancient  history.  Seid  furnished 
him  with  some  food,  which  I  now  learned  they  called 
cous-koo-soo,  with  some  slices  of  pumpion  or  squash 
spread  over  it  in  the  bowl,  and  well  peppered.  This 
dish,  which  is  made  of  small  balls  of  flour,  boiled 
with  a  fowl  and  vegetables,  looked  (for  I  had  not 
the  pleasure  of  tasting  it)  like  a  very  nice  dish. 
After  they  had  washed,  drank  water,  eaten,  washed 
again,  and  prayed  together,  Ullah  Omar  took  his 
leave.  Durina;  the  whole  of  the  time  we  remained 
here,  our  keepers  washed  themselves  all  over  Avith 
water  twice  a  day,  before  mid-day  and  evening 
prayers,  and  always  washed  their  hands  before  and 
after  eating. 

The  state  of  my  mind,  in  the  me^intime,  can  be 
more  easily  conceived  than  described:  during  this 
day  and  the  next,  which  was  the  eighth.  I  longed  to 
know  my  fate  ;  and  yet  I  must  own,  I  trembled  at 
the  thoughts  of  what  it  might  be,  and  at  the  condi- 


tions  I  had  myself  proposed  at  my  last  purchase, 
and  had  so  often  since  confirmed.  If  my  master 
should  find  no  one  who  should  be  willing  to  pay  the 
money  for  my  redemption,  my  fate  was  sealed.  J 
had  already  agreed  to  have  my  throat  cut!  this 
could  not  be  prevented;  yet  when  I  made  this 
agreement  I  was  naked  and  on  a  vast  and  dreary 
desart,  literally  without  a  skin ;  my  remaining  flesh 
was  roasted  on  my  body ;  not  a  drop  of  fresh  water 
to  quench  my  burning  thirst,  nor  even  an  herb  or 
any  other  thing  to  satisfy  the  cravings  of  hunger: 
my  life  was  fast  wasting  away,  and  there  was  not 
even  a  hope  remaining,  or  a  possibility  of  existing 
long  in  my  then  forlorn  condition :  both  myself  and 
my  companions  would  have  sold  our  lives  for  a  drink 
of  fresh  water  or  a  morsel  of  bread.  In  that  most 
dismal  and  desperate  situation,  I  imagined  that  if  I 
could  once  get  to  the  cultivated  country  beyond  the 
desart,  I  should  find  some  food  to  support  nature, 
and  fresh  water  to  allay  our  thirst.  My  remarkable 
dream  had  also  given  me  courage  to  hope  for  re- 
demption; but  if  I  was  not  redeemed  myself,  I  felt 
it  my  duty  to  exert  myself  to  the  utmost  to  pre- 
serve the  lives  of  ray  shipmates;  they  might,  some 
of  them,  I  fancied,  possibly  survive,  even  though  I 
should  not,  and  be  at  length  restored  to  their  coun- 
try  and  friends,  in  consequence  of  my  exertions,  and 
convey  to  my  distressed  family  the  sad  tidings  of 
my  wretched  fate.  Circumstances  were  now 
changed ;  I  had  passed  the  dangers  of  the  desart^, 
and  arrived  in  the  cultivated  country;  we  had  now 
plenty  of  good   water,   and  some  food  and  shelter; 


and  though  my  flesh  was  nearly  all  wasted  awaj, 
yet  a  new  skin  had  succeeded,  and  nearly  covered  my 
bones.  My  desire  to  live,  kept  pace  with  the  in- 
crease of  my  comforts;  I  longed  for  the  return  of 
my  master,  and  yet  I  anticipated  it  with  the  most 
fearful  and  dreadful  apprehensions.  I  could  not 
sleep :  alternate  hope  and  fear  kept  me  in  a  state  of 
continual  agitation.  I  calculated  on  the  moment  of 
his  arrival  as  decisive  of  my  fate.  It  would  either 
restore  me  to  liberty,  or  doom  me  to  instant  death ; 
I  trembled  at  every  noise  occasioned  by  the  opening 
ef  the  gate,  on  any  new  arrival. 


v4  Moor  arrives  from  Mogadore^  bringing  a  letter — the 
letter — they  set  out  for  that  city. 

The  eighth  day  of  my  master's  absence  passed 
tediously  away  ;  when  after  dark  we  heard  a  tramp- 
ling outside  the  walls :  Seid  went  forth  to  learn  its 
cause,  and  soon  returned  with  Sidi  Mohammed,  fol- 
lowed by  a  well  looking  Moor :  they  came  directly  to 
that  part  of  the  yard  where  we  were  sitting  on  the 
ground,  trembling  with  apprehension  and  with  cold. 
When  they  came  near  me,  the  Moor  called  out  and  said, 
in  English,  "  How  de-do,  Capetan."  This  raised  me 
and  all  my  men  from  the  ground ;  I  felt  as  if  my  heart 
was  forcing  its  way  up  into  my  throat,  and  it  entirely 
obstructed  mv  breath.    I  eagerly  seized  his  hand,  and 


begged  to  know  who  he  was,  and  what  was  my  doom, 
and  if  Sidi  Hamet  had  come  back  ;  he  then  asked  me 
in  Spanish,  if  I  spoke  that  language,  and  being  answer- 
ed in  the  affirmative,  he  informed  me  in  Spanish,  that 
he  came   from  Mogadore ;   that  my  letter  had  been 
received  by  one  of  the  best  of  men,  an  Englishman, 
who  was  his  friend,  and  who  had  shed  tears  on  read, 
ing  my  letter:  that  he  had  paid  the   money  to  my 
master  immediately,  and  had  sent  him  (the  Moor)  off, 
without  giving  him  scarcely  a  moment's  time  to  take 
leave  of  his  wife,  and  that  he  had  been  on  his   mule 
ever  since   h,-?  left  Swearah,  travelling  on  as  fast  as 
possible,  night  and  day.     The  anxiety  of  my  compa- 
nions by  this  time  had  risen  to  such  a  pitch,  that  they 
broke  in  upon  his  story,  on  which  I  communicated  to 
them  the  thrice  welcome  and  happy  intelligence,  that 
we  had  a  friend  who  would  redeem  us  from  slavery. 
Our  souls  were  overvi'helmed  with  joy,  and  yet  we 
trembled  with  apprehension  lest  it  might  not  be  true : 
alas  !  perhaps  it  was  only  a  delusive  dream,  or  sorae 
cruel  trick   to  turn  our  miseries  into  mockery.     At 
this  moment  however  the  Moor  handed  me  a  letter : 
I  broke  it  open;   but  my  emotions  were  such,  that  it 
was   imposssible  for  me  to  read  its   contents,   and  I 
handed  it  to  Mr.  Savage  ;  for  my  frame  trembled  to 
such  a  degree,  that  I  could  not  stand,  and  I  sunk  to  the 
earth,  but,  thank  God,  not  senseless ;  while,  by  means 
of  the  light  of  a  fire,  he  read  as  follows  : — 

Mogadore,  October  25,  1815. 
My  dear  and  afflicted  sir, 

I  have  this  moment  received  your  two   not^s 
bv    ^idi   Hamet,   the  contents    of    which,   I    hope, 
■       rf 


you  will  be  perfectly  assured  have  called  forth  my 
most  sincere  pity  for  your  sufferings  and  those  of  your 
companions  in  captivity. 

By  a  Gibraltar  paper  I  discover,  under  the  arrivals 
from  the  5th  to  the  11th  August,  the  name  of  your 
vessel,  and  that  she  was  American,  from  which  I  con- 
clude both  you  and  your  crew  must  be  subjects  of 
the  United  States :  had  it  not  been  for  the  paper 
adverted  to,  some  delay  would  have  occurred,  as  yoir 
do  not  state  in  your  notes  to  what  nation  you  belongs 

I  congratulate  you  most  sincerely  on  the  good  for- 
tune you  and  your  fellow  sufferers  have  ftiet,  by  being 
in  the  hands  of  a  man  who  seems  to  be  guided  by 
some  degree  of  commiseration. 

I  can  in  some  measure  participate  in  the  severe  and 
dangerous  sufferings  and  hardships  you  must  have 
undergone;  but,  my  dear  Sir,  console  yourself,  for, 
thanks  be  to  God,  I  hope  they  will  soon  have  a  happy 
issue;  for  which  purpose  I  devoutly  pray  the  great 
Disposerofallthings  will  give  you  and  your  unfortunate 
companions  health  and  strength  once  more  to  visit 
your  native  land. 

This  letter  will  be  delivered  you  by  RaisbelCossim^ 
In  whom  you  may  place  the  fullest  faith ;  he  speaks 
Spanish,  and  has  directions  to  pay  attention  to  your  or- 
ders,andrenderyou  every  care  yoursevere  misfortunes 
may  require: — be  pleased  to  write  me  an  immediate 
answer,  stating  every  particular  relating  to  yourself, 
your  crew,  and  vessel,  as  I  have  given  orders  to  the 
Moor  to  forward  it  to  me  without  delay. 

I  have  agreed  to  pay  the  sura  of  nine  hundred  and 
twenty  hard  dollars  to  Sidi  Haraet  on  your  safe  ani- 


SUFFERINGS    lli    AFRICA.  219 

val  in  this  town  with  your  fellow  sufferers;  he  re- 
mains here  as  a  kind  of  hostage  for  your  safe  ap- 

I  have  been  induced  to  trust  implicitly  to  your  word» 
and  the  respectable  references  you  have  given,  in 
CDnfidence  that  those  gentlemen,  or  yourself,  will 
readily  reimburse  me  the  whole  of  the  expenses  tjjat 
may  be  incurred  in  obtaining  your  redemption. 

I  have  the  most  sincere  pleasure  to  acquaint  you, 
you  will  be  at  liberty  to  commence  your  journey  for 
this  town  on  the  receipt  of  this  letter,  and  make 
what  stages  you  please  on  the  road,  as  I  do  not  ad- 
vise you,  in  the  eagerness  all  of  you  must  feel,  to 
run  into  danger  by  over-exertion  and  fatigue :  I 
would,  therefore,  recommend  the  greatest  precau- 
tion on  this  point.  I  have  sent  under  charge  of 
Rais  bel  Cossim,  shoes  and  cloaks,  which  I  have  no 
doubt  you  will  find  very  useful  in  preserving  you 
from  rain  or  cold  on  the  road. 

I  have  also  forwarded  you  some  provisions  and 
spirits,  that  you  may  enjoy  a  foretaste  of  returning 

I  beg  to  recommend  the  greatest  secrecy  of  your 
circumstances  until  your  arrival  here,  for  should  the 
Moors  suppose  you  able  to  pay  more,  they  would 
throw  difficulties  in  the  way,  and  thereby  much  re- 
tard your  redemption. 

I  shall  send  off  an  express  to-morrow  to  the  Uni- 
^d  States'  Consul  General  at  Tangier,  and  a  letter 
to  Mr.  Horatio  Sprague  of  Gibraltar,  informing  them 
of  your  loss,  and  of  the  favourable  hopes  I  enter- 
tVm  of  your  immediate  release. 


I  have  appointed  with  Rais  bel  Cossim,  on  your 
arrival  at  a  short  distance  from  Mogadore,  to  wait 
at  the  garden  of  a  friend  of  mine,  and  send  me  no- 
tice of  the  same,  when  I  shall  immediately  set  out 
to  meet  you. 

I  trust  there  is  no  occasion  for  me  to  say  how 
truly  I  commiserate  and  enter  into  all  your  misfor- 
tunes: when  God  grants  me  the  pleasure  to  embrace 
you,  it  will  be  to  me  a  day  of  true  rejoicing. — I  beg 
you  will  assure  every  one  with  you  of  my  truest  re- 
gard; and  with  sentiments  embittered  by  the  thoughts 
of  the  miseries  you  have  undergone,  but  with  the 
most  sanguine  hope  of  a  happy  end  to  all  your  suf- 
ferings, I  subscribe  myself,  with  the  greatest  esteem, 
my  dear  Sir,  your  friend, 

William  Willshire. 

P.  S.  I  willingly  agree  to  advance  the  money, 
considering  a  month  or  more  must  elapse  before  I 
coiiid  receive  an  answer  from  Mr.  Sprague.  I  there- 
fore concluded  you  would  prefer  being  at  liberty  in 
this  town,  to  experiencing  a  prolongation  of  your 
sufferings  during  that  period.  I  shall  be  happy  in 
rendering  you  every  comfort  that  my  house  and  this 
country  can  alford.  W.  W. 

My  feelings,  during  the  reading  of  this  letter,  may 
Tjprhaps  be  conceived,  but  I  cannot  attempt  to  de- 
scribe them;  to  form  an  idea  of  my  emotions  at 
that  time,  it  is  necessary  for  the  reader  to  trans^- 
port  himself  in  imagination  to  the  country  where  I 
then  was,  a  wretched  slave,  and  to  fancy  himself  as 

SiJFJt^RlNCiS    IN    AFKICA.  221 

having  passed  thronorh  all  the  dangers  and  distresses 
that  I  had  experienced:  reduced  to  the  lowest  pitch 
of  human  wretchedness,  degradation,  and  despair,  a 
skinless  skeleton,  expecting  death  at  every  instant: 
then  let  him  fancy  himseli'  receiving  such  a  letter 
from  a  perfect  stranger,  whos'e  name  he  had  never 
before  heard,  and  from  a  place  where  there  was  not 
an  individual  creature  that  had  ever  before  heard  of 
his  existence,  and  in  one  of  the  most  barbarous  re- 
«:ions  of  the  habitable  jjlobe :  let  him  receive  at  the 
same  time  clothes  to  cover  and  deiend  his  naked, 
emaciated,  and  trembling  frame,  shoes  for  his  man- 
gled feet,  and  such  provisions  as  he  had  been  accus- 
tomed to  in  his  happier  days — let  him  find  a  soothing 
and  sympathizing  friend  in  a  barbarian,  and  one  who 
spoke  perfectly  well  the  language  of  a  Christian  na- 
tion ;  and  with  all  this,  let  him  behold  a  prospect  of 
a  speedy  liberation  and  restoration  to  his  beloved 
family  : — here  let  him  pause,  and  his  heart  must,  like 
mine,  expand  near  to  bursting  with  gratitude  to  his 
all-wise  and  beneficent  Creator,  who  had  upheld  his 
tottering  frame,  and  preserved  in  his  bosom  the  vital 
spark,  while  he  conducted  him,  with  unerring  wis- 
dom and  goodness,  through  the  greatest  perils  and 
sufferings,  by  a  continued  miracle,  and  now  prepared 
the  heart  of  a  stranger  to  accomplish  what  had  been 
before  determined. 

The  letter  being  finished,  we  could  only  raise  our 
eyes  and  hearts  to  heaven  in  adoration  and  sihnt 
thankfulness,  while  tears  of  joy  trickled  down  our 
haggard  cheeks.  Amidst  these  joyful  and  heart- 
thriUlng  gensa.tions,  my  attention  was  aroused  by 

222  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

the  thundering  voice  of  Sheick  Ali,  who  stormed 
away  most  furiously  on  being  informed  that  Sidi 
Hamet  had  given  up  me  and  my  companions  for  such 
a  paltry  sum ; — he  said,  Sidi  Hamet  must  be  a  fool 
and  a  madman  to  put  himself  in  the  power  of  a  vil- 
lanous  Christian,  who  would  undoubtedly  murder 
him  and  take  back  his  money  so  soon  as  we  should 
arrive  in  Swearah.  The  Moor,  who  had  hitherto 
remained  silent,  now  spoke  out  in  a  very  spirited 
manner,  and  told  the  Sheick  in  a  very  firm,  but  elo- 
quent and  persuasive  tone,  that  he  had  bougiit  me 
and  my  companions  with  his  own  money,  which  he 
fead  paid  to  Sidi  Hamet  before  he  left  Swearah;  and 
that  he  (Sidi  Hamet)  remained  there  voluntarily  as 
a  hostage  for  his  {^Raisbel  Cosshn's)  safety,  as  well  as 
security  for  the  delivery  of  the  slaves. 

"  We  are  of  the  same  religion,  (added  Rais)  and 
owe  these  Christian  dogs  nothing;  but  we  have  an 
undoubted  right  to  make  merchandise  of  them,  and 
oblige  them  to  carry  our  burdens  like  camels. 
That  fellow  (said  he,  pointing  to  me)  calls  himself 
the  captain  of  a  vessel, — he  has  deceived  his  mas- 
ter and  you ;  for  he  was  nothing  more  than  cook 
on  board,  and  the  captain  has  long  been  dead." 
This  the  Sheick  would  not  believe,  if  it  was  so ;  how 
could  I  write  a  note  to  induce  a  stranger  to  pay  so 
much  money  for  me  and  my  men  }  "  It  was  only  a 
■short  one,  (added  he)  and  its  writer  must  be  a  man 
of  much  consequence,  as  well  as  knowledge.  I 
fear  you  (though  a  Moslemin)  have  leagued  with  a 
Christian  against  Sidi"  Hamet,  first  to  rob  him  of  his 
slaves,  and  then  to  take  his  life."     "  No-^by  Allah  !  I 


am  incapable  of  such  an  act  of  treachery,"  (retorted 
Rais)  and  told  the  Sheick  I  was  indeed  the  cook, 
but  beins:  a  stout  fellow,  had  been  able  to  endure 
fatigues  better  than  the  others:  "  but  (added  he)  give 
them  paper,  pen,  and  ink,  and  they  will  soon  con- 
vince you  they  can  all  write,  and  much  belter  than 
Riley."  This  controversy  continued  a  long  time,  and 
I  found  that  Rais  bel  Cossim  was  a  man  of  great 
<K>urage,  as  well  as  knowledge  and  eloquence;  and 
he  certainly  displayed  great  address  and  manage- 
ment in  checkinir  the  avaricious  calculations  of  the 
Sheick,  by  insisting  upon  my  not  being  a  captain, 
and  thus  depreciating  my  value  as  a  slave.  Seid 
seemed  to  have  sunken  into  a  kind  of  sullen  silence; 
it  was  now  late,  and  Sidi  Mohammed  conducted  the 
whole  company  into  an  apartment  that  had  served, 
from  appearances,  as  a  stable  for  mules.  They 
had  loudly  insisted  that  we  should  lodge  in  the 
same  place  where  we  had  been  before  confined,  but 
Rais  would  not  consent,  and  declared  that  his  slaves 
should  stay  by  his  side,  both  night  and  day.  They 
had  cost  him  a  great  deal  of  money,  (he  said)  and 
he  was  determined  not  to  lose  them.  Having  thus 
got  into  comfortable  quarters,  our  cloaks  were  pro- 
duced from  a  basket,  and  we  put  them  on.  Our 
friend  had  sent  us  some  hard  biscuits,  and  boiled 
neats'  tongues — he  had  also  forwarded  tea,  coffee, 
and  sugar,  and  a  few  bottles  of  rum,  with  a  tea- 
kettle, tea-pot,  cups  and  saucers,  all  nicely  packed 
up  in  a  small  box.  Rais  then  procured  a  hghted 
lamp,  and  I  gave  each  of  my  men  a  slice  of  tongue, 
some  biscuit,  and  a  drink  of  rum  : — this  revived  thek 


spirits  exceedingly,  and  we  all  felt  as  if  new  life  was 
infused  into  our  hearts,  which  at  the  same  time 
swelled  with  gratitude  to  God  for  his  infinite  mercy 
and  goodness.  We  were  next  regaled  with  a  very 
fine  water-melon;  and  having  put  on  our  new  shoes 
to  make  our  feet  warm,  and  wrapped  ourselves  up 
in  large  cloaks  or  gzlabbias,  we  stretched  ourselves 
on  the  ground  to  sleep,  whilst  Rais,  Seid,  and  his 
companion,  Bo-Mohammed,  and  Sheick  Ali,  laid 
themselves  down  on  a  platform  made  of  boards  that 
must  have  been  brought  from  the  wreck  of  some 
vessel,  and  was  raised  two  feet  from  the  ground. 
The  food  which  I  and  my  companions  had  eaten» 
together  with  the  melon  and  liquor,  caused  us  such 
violent  griping  pains  in  our  stomachs  and  intestines, 
that  we  could  with  great  difficulty  forbear  screaming 
out  with  agony,  and  we  found  no  rehef  till  morning, 
after  having  passed  a  sleepless  night. 

Early  in  the  morning,  Rais  desired  me,  in  Arabic^ 
to  make  some  tea — ^so  I  took  out  the  kettle,  had  it 
filled  with  water,  made  a  fire  wjih  a  few  sticks,  and 
soon  had  the  tea  ready  for  drinking.  The  men  and 
boys  in  and  near  this  village,  hearing  of  Sidi  Mo- 
hammed's return  to  his  family,  came  now  to  con- 
orratulate  him,  and  to  see  the  Moor,  who  directed  me 
to  pour  out  a  cup  of  tea  for  each  of  the  men,  which 
he  made  thick  with  sugar.  None  of  the  people  had 
ever  before  seen  such  a  thing  as  a  tea-cup,  nor  knew 
what  the  taste  of  tea  was,  and  it  was  with  difficulty 
that  several  of  them  could  be  persuaded  to  driukit, 
and  .they  appeared  to  be  reconciled  to  it  only  on  ac- 
co^mt  of  the  su2:ar.     I  waited  on  them  all  until  the^ 

fijJUPFERINGS    IN    AFRICA.  225 

had  finished;  when  Rais,  turning  to  Sheick  Ali,  said, 
"  I  told  you  before  that  Riley  was  the  cook,  and  now 
you  see  with  your  own  eyes  that  he  is  the  only  one 
that  can  wait  upon  us."  I  next  made  a  strong  cup 
of  tea  for  ourselves,  which  had  a  most  remarkable 
effect  in  composing  and  restoring  the  tone  of  our 

All  our  things  being  soon  packed  up  and  loaded 
on  mules,  we  set  forward  at  about  eight  o'clock. 
The  Moor  had  tried  to  procure  mules  for  us  to 
ride  on;  but  they  could  not  be  had  in  this  part  of 
the  country  at  any  price.  Our  company  consisted 
of  Sheick  Jtli^  Sidi  Mohammed^  (who  had  been  to 
Swearah  on  our  account)  Seid^  our  master,  Bo-Mo- 
hammed^ (who  had  assisted  in  guarding  us)  and  Rais 
bel  Cossim,  all  well  armed.  Though  he  could  pro- 
cure no  beasts,  exclusively  for  our  use,  yet  Rais 
managed  in  such  a  manner  as  to  let  us  ride  by  turns, 
and  Burns  all  the  time,  for  he  was  so  feeble  as  not 
to  be  able  to  walk.  So  soon  as  we  were  on  the 
road,  Rais  bel  Cossim  begged  me  to  give  him  an  ac- 
count of  my  misfortunes  and  sufferings,  and  by  what 
miracle  my  life  and  the  hves  of  those  who  were  with 
me  had  been  preserved — I  satisfied  his  curiosity  as 
well  as  I  could  by  a  short  narration  of  the  most 
prominent  occurrences.  When  I  had  finished,  he 
raised  his  eyes  towards  heaven  with  an  air  and  ex~ 
pression  of  true  devotion,  and  exclaimed  in  Spanish, 
"  Praised  be  God,  the  most  high  and  holy  !  for  his 
goodness:"  then  addressing  himself  to  me,  he  re- 
marked, ''  You  have  indeed  been  preserved  jinost 
wonderfully  by  the  peculiar  protection   and   assist- 


ance  of  an  overruling  Providence,  and  must  be  a 
particular  favourite  of  heaven :  there  never  was  an 
instance  (added  he)  of  a  Christian's  passing  the 
great  desart  for  such  a  distance  before,  and  you  are 
no  doubt  destined  to  do  some  great  good  in  the 
world;  and  may  the  Almighty  continue  to  preserve 
you,  and  restore  you  to  your  distressed  family. 
Sidi  Hamet  (added  he)  admired  your  conduct,  cour- 
age, and  intelligence,  and  says  they  are  more  than 
human — that  God  is  with  you  in  all  your  transac- 
tions, and  has  blessed  him  for  your  sake."  I  men- 
tion this  conversation  to  show  the  light  in  which  my 
master  had  viewed  me,  and  this  will  account  for  th» 
interest  he  took  in  my  restoration  to  liberty,  over  and 
above  his  motives  of  gain. 

I  now  inquired  who  Sheick  All  was,  and  why  he 
was  going  on  in  company;  and  said,  I  much  feared 
him.  Rais  informed  me  that  all  he  knew  about  him, 
he  had  learned  from  Sidi  Mohammed,  which  was, 
that  he  is  the  chief  of  a  very  large  and  powerful 
tribe  of  Arabs,  who  inhabit  the  hills  south  of  us, 
and  near  the  borders  of  the  great  desart;  that  Sidi 
Hamet  har^-Hiarried  one  of  his  daughters,  but  had 
since  been  at  war  with  him,  and  that  in  the  contest 
his  father-in-law  had  destroyed  Sidi  Hamet's  town, 
and  taken  back  his  daughter,  but  afterwards  resto- 
red her  again  on  making  peace — that  this  Sheick 
could  bring  ten  or  fifteen  thousand  men  into  the  field 
whenever  he  pleased,  and  that  he  was  a  man  of  the 
greatest  talents  and  capacity  in  war,  as  well  as  in 
peace ;  but  why  he  was  going  on  in  our  company  in 
this  manner,   he  could  not  toll,  and  agreed  with  me. 


m  suspecting  that  it  could  be  for  no  good  purpose, 
jet  he  observed,  "  God  could  turn  his  evil  inten- 
tions to  our  good,  and  that  that  power  which  had 
protected  me  thus  far,  would  not  forsake  me  antil 
his  will  was  accomplished." 


They  come  near  the  ruins  of  a  city  where  two  battering 
machines  are  standing — description  of  them — story 
of  its  destruction — they  cross  a  river  and  a  fruitful 
valley — lodge  in  a  city,  and  are  afterwards  stopped 
by  Sheick  Ali  and  the  prince  of  another  city. 

We  travelled  on  io  a  south-east  direction  through 
a  verj  sandy  country,  with  however  here  and  there 
a  small  rising,  and  a  few  cultivated  spots,  for  about 
five  hours,  at  the  rate  of  five  miles  an  hour,  when 
we  came  opposite  the  shattered  walls  of  a  desolate 
town  or  city  that  stood  not  far  from  our  path  on  the 
right.  These  walls  appeared  to  enclose  a  square 
spot  of  about  three  hundred  yards  in  extent  on  each 
side,  and  they  seemed  to  be  at  least  fifteen  feet  in 
height.  They  were  built  of  rough  stones,  laid  in 
clay  or  mud,  and  partly  daubed  over  with  the  same 
material.  On  the  north  side,  there  was  a  gateway 
handsomely  arched  over  with  stone,  and  furnished 
with  a  strong  heavy-looking  wooden  gate  that  was 
now  shut.  Over  the  gate  there  appeared  to  be  a 
platform  for  the  purpose  of  defending  the  gate,  for 

228  CAPTAIN  riley's  NARRAT1\^. 

the  wall  was  not  quite  so  high  in  that  part  as  else- 
where.      Two   battering    machines   were   standing 
against  the  western  angle  of  the  wall,  opposite  to 
which  a  large  practicable  breach  had  been  made  by 
means  of  one  of  those  machines.     They  were  both 
very  simple  in  their  structure,  but  calculated  to  be 
very  powerful   in  their  effects.     I   could   distinctly 
see  and  examine  with  my  eyes  the  one  nearest  to  us. 
It  was  formed,  as  it  appeared  to  me,  in  the  first  place, 
by  laying  down  two  large  logs  of  wood  at  right  an- 
gles with  the  wall,  and  about  fifteen  feet  apart,  the 
ends  of  the  logs  butting  against  the  wall.  (See  plate, 
figure  4.)     Into  the  upper  side  of  each  of  these  logs" 
a  nitch  or  mortise  was  cut  to  receive  the  thick  ends 
of  two  uprights,  consisting  of  two  rough  trunks  of 
trees,  of  about  twelve  inches  in  diameter  at  their 
base,  of  equal  lengths,  and  rising  to  the  height  of 
about  twenty-five  or  thirty  feet.     Each  upright  had 
a  crotch  in   its  upper  end,  formed  by   the  natural 
branching  of  the   two  principal  limbs  of  the   tree, 
like  a  common  country  well-post  in  America.    These 
crotches  being  rounded  out  by  art,  a  stout  piece  of 
knotty  timber   of   about  from   twelve   to    eighteen 
inches  in  thickness  was  placed  horizontally  in  them. 
To  the  centre  of  the  cross-piece  a  pole  of  ten  or 
twelve  inches  in  circumference  was  lashed  with  a 
strong  rope,  and  to  the  lower  end  of  this  pole,  a 
huge  rough  rock  was  fastened,  weighing  from  ap- 
pearances several  tons.     The  rock  was  slung  and 
fastened  to  the  pole  by  means  of  thick  ropes,  form- 
ed by  braiding  many  thongs  of  camels'  skins  toge- 
ther.    After  the  machine  had  been  fitted  together  on 


iiie  ground,  it  had  been  raised  all  in  a  body  by  the 
help  of  long  shores  or  sticks  of  timber,  not  so  thick 
as  the  uprights,  but  nearly  twice  as  long:  these 
shores  were  tied  fast  to  the  uprights,  near  their 
crotches  by  ropes,  and  served  to  raise  and  lower  the 
machine  at  pleasure,  and  also  acted  as  braces  to 
support  it  when  in  action.  Two  short  props  or 
braces  were  fixed  between  the  uprights  and  the  wall, 
with  one  end  resting  against  its  base,  and  the  other 
in  a  notch  cut  on  the  inner  side  of  the  uprights  to 
help  to  keep  them  steady,  and  prevent  them  from 
falHng  against  the  walls.  The  rock  hung  within 
two  or  three  feet  of  the  ground,  like  a  huge  pen- 
dulum; and  having  a  long  rope  fastened  to  its 
slings,  stretching  off  from  the  wall  at  least  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  feet.  The  manner  of  applying  it, 
was  by  the  assailants  laying  hold  of  this  rope  in 
great  numbers,  and  then  hauling  off  the  rock  to  its 
greatest  extent ;  all  let  go  at  the  same  instant,  and 
the  rock  swung  back  with  such  impetuosity  against 
those  ill-constructed  walls,  that  its  repeated  strokes 
soon  opened  a  breach,  through  which  the  besiegers 
entered,  sword  in  hand.  The  other  machine  was 
made  of  four  rough-sticks  of  timber,  of  nearly  equal 
lengths,  lashed  together  at  their  smallest  ends,  and 
raised  in  form  of  a  common  triangle,  or  rather  a 
quadrangle ;  from  the  point  of  juncture,  a  large  rock 
was  suspended  by  a  rope  of  camels'  skin,  braided  to 
the  thickness  of  a  man's  leg,  and  slung  in  suc!i  a 
manner  as  to  be  struck  against  the  wall  in  the  same 
way  as  the  one  first  described.  My  companion, 
Rais  bel  Cossim,  gave  me  all  the  information  I  de- 


sired  relative  to  these  machines.  The  ground  about 
the  breach  and  near  the  gate  was  strewed  over  with 
dry  human  bones ;  and  my  curiosity  being  much  ex- 
cited to  know  the  history  of  this  melancholy  scene 
of  carnage  and  desolation,  I  requested  Rais  to  com- 
municate to  me  the  particulars;  but  not  being,  it 
seems,  acquainted  with  them  himself,  he  applied  to 
Sidi  Mohammed  on  the  subject,  who  thereupon  gave 
the  following  relation,  while  Rais  translated  into 
Spanish  for  me  such  parts  as  I  did  not  perfectly  un- 
derstand in  Arabic,  by  which  means  I  was  enabled 
thoroughly  to  comprehend  the  whole  narrative. 

"  That  city  (said  Sidi  Mohammed,  jointing  to- 
wards it  with  his  staff,)  was  built  by  Omar  Ras- 
chid,  about  forty  years  ago;  he  named  it  Widnah, 
He  was  a  very  brave  and  pious  man :  and  the  num- 
ber of  his  family  and  friends,  consisting  at  first  of  no 
more  than  five  hundred  souls,  when  the  city  was 
built,  increased  so  rapidly,  that  in  a  few  years  they 
amounted  to  several  thousands :  they  planted  those 
fig,  date,  pomegranate,  olive,  and  other  trees  which 
you  now  see  near  the  walls ;  they  cultivated  the 
fields  round  about,  and  made  gardens ;  had  abun- 
dance of  bread,  beasts,  and  cattle  of  every  kind,  and 
became  exceedingly  rich  and  great,  for  God  was 
with  them.  In  all  their  transactions,  they  were  re- 
spected, loved,  and  feared  by  all  their  neighbours, 
because  they  were  wise  and  just.  This  man  was 
called  Omar  el  Jllilliah,  (or  Omar  the  good ;)  he  was 
my  best  friend  when  living,  (said  Sidi)  and  helped 
rae  when  I  was  very  low  in  the  world,  but  the  best 
men  have  enemies — so  it  was  with  Omar;  he  had  an 


inveterate  enemy  from  his  youth,  who  hved  among 
the  mountains  to  the  southward  of  his  city,  whose 
name  was  Sheick  Sulmin.  This  Sheick,  about  twen- 
ty years  ago,  came  down  with  a  great  host  and  in- 
vested the  city  of  Omar,  but  Omar  taking  advantage 
of  the  darkness  of  the  night,  salhed  out  of  his  city 
at  a  private  passage,  with  all  his  forces,  and  falling 
upon  his  besiegers  unawares,  killed  a  great  number, 
and  put  the  remainder  to  a  shameful  flight — from 
that  time  until  the  time  of  his  death,  (which  happen- 
ed two  years  ago)  he  enjoyed  a  profound  peace  on 
every  side.  After  Omar's  death,  his  eldest  son, 
Muley  Ismael,  (for  he  caused  himself  to  be  called  a 
prince)  took  upon  him  the  government  of  the  city. 
He  was  a  very  effeminate  man,  entirely  devoted  to 
sensual  pleasure,  and  had  a  great  number  of  wives 
and  concubines.  The  people  had  long  enjoyed  a 
profound  peace,  and  confided  in  their  strength;  when 
about  a  year  ago  one  of  the  brothers  of  Ismael, 
named  Kesh-hah^  who  was  very  ambitious,  and  being 
fired  with  resentment  at  the  conduct  of  Muley  Ismael, 
in  taking  away  from  him  his  betrothed  wife,  left  the 
city,  and  repaired  to  the  mountains,  where  having 
found  his  father's  old  enemy  still  Hving,  he  stirred 
tim  up  to  war  against  the  city.  The  old  Sheick 
soon  collected  a  powerful  army  of  hungry  and  rapa- 
cious Arabs  on  the  borders  of  the  desart,  and  came 
down  the  mountains,  bringing  on  their  camels  the 
battering  machines  you  now  see  standing  there. 
When  this  host  approached  the  city,  it  was  in  the 
dead  of  the  night,  and  all  within  were  asleep,  for 
they  dwelt  carelessly  and  dreamed  of  no  danger. 


and  felt  so  secure,  that  they  did  not  even  keep  a 
watch.  The  Sheick  and  his  host  drew  near  the 
walls  in  perfect  silence,  and  raised  their  battering 
machines  undiscovered  :  it  was  now  nearly  daylight, 
when  both  machines  were  put  in  operation  at  the 
same  instant,  and  the  gate  was  also  attacked  by 
means  of  large  stones  hung  from  the  upper  extremi- 
ties of  long  poles  by  ropes,  which  poles  stood  up  on 
end,  and  were  managed  by  the  hands  of  the  Arabs. 
The  first  strokes  against  the  walls  and  gate,  shook 
them  to  their  very  foundations,  and  awakened  the 
slothful  inhabitants,  who  flew  to  the  walls  in  order 
to  make  a  defence;  but  it  was  too  late;  the  enemy 
were  thundering  against  them;  all  was  confusion 
within ;  those  who  attacked  the  gate  were  repulsed 
with  great  slaughter  by  those  who  mounted  the 
platform  over  it,  but  the  walls  were  already  shat- 
tered to  pieces,  and  the  assailants  entered  the 
breaches  over  heaps  of  their  dead  and  dying  ene- 

It  was  now  daylight,  and  an  indiscriminate 
slaughter  of  the  inhabitants  ensued ;  all  was  blood 
and  carnage  ;  every  male  was  put  to  death,  except 
two,  who  escaped  over  the  wall  to  carry  tidings  of 
the  fate  of  the  town  to  their  friends  and  neighbours. 
All  the  women  and  children  shared  the  same  fate, 
except  two  hundred  virgins,  who  were  spared  for  the 
use  of  the  conquerors.  They  next  plundered  the 
slain  of  their  clothing  and  ornaments ;  gathered  up 
all  the  spoil,  and  drove  off  the  oxen,  sheep,  camels, 
and  asses,  and  departed,  leaving  the  city  before 
mid-day  a  heap  of  ruins,  covered  with  the  mangled 

SUFFERINGS     l.\    AFRICA.  233 

carcasses  of  its  once  liighlj  ravomed  iuliabitants : 
thej  were  in  such  haste  as  to  leave  the  battering 
machines  standing,  and  made  oft'  by  way  of  the 
plain  southward.  The  inhabitants  of  the  neighbour- 
ine^  towns  soon  collected,  and  pursuing  them  with 
great  vigour,  came  up  with  tliem  on  the  side  of  the 
mountain  the  next  morning,  while  the  invaders  send- 
ing forward  their  spoil,  took  a  station  in  a  steep 
narrow  pass,  and  prepared  for  battle^  It  was  a  very 
lono-  and  bloody  fight,  but  Sulmin's  men  rolled  down 
great  stones  from  the  precipices  upon  their  pursuers, 
who  were  at  last  forced  to  retreat,  leaving  about 
half  their  number  dead  and  wounded  on  the  ground."' 
Sidi  Mohammed  was  one  of  the  pursuers,  and  noAV 
showed  me  a  verv  larg-e  scar  from  a  wound  he  then 
received  on  his  breast  by  a  musket  ball.  Sidi  Ishem, 
a  very  powerful  prince,  had  in  the  mean  time  heard 
the  news,  and  assembled  a  very  large  army,  and 
pursued  tlie  enemy  by  another  way ;  but  they  had 
fled  to  the  desart,  and  could  not  be  overtaken. 
The  dead  bodies  in  and  about  the  city  had  become 
so  putrid  before  the  pursuit  was  over,  that  none 
could  approach  to  bury  them,  and  they  were  de- 
voured by  dogs,  and  wild  beasts,  and  birds  of  prey. 
"  They  had  offended  the  Almighty  by  their  pride, 
(observed  Sidi  Mohammed)  and  none  could  be  found 
to  save  them.  Thus  perished  Widnah  and  its 
haughty  inhabitants." 

I  was  at  that  time  riding  along  on  a  mule  next  to 
Rais  bel  Cossim  and  Sidi  Mohammed,  whilst  the  lat- 
ter recounted  the  transaction  in  a  most  solemn  tone. 
My  sensations  at  beholding  the  desolate  ruins  of  a 

H  h 

234  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

once  populous  town,  whose  inhabitants  had  all  beew 
cut  off  in  a  few  hours  by  the  unexpected  irruption 
of  a  ferocious  and  unsparing  foe,  may  easily  be  con- 
ceived. I  was  at  first  induced  to  consider  the  story 
as  fictitious,  but  my  eyes  warranted  the  belief  of  it, 
and  the  sight  of  the  battering  machines,  together 
with  the  breaches  in  the  wall,  and  the  dry  hnman 
bones,  afforded  conclusive  evidence  even  to  the 
minds  of  my  fellow-prisoners,  who  did  not  understand 
the  narrative,  that  here  had  once  stood  a  town,  which 
had  been  sacked  and  destroyed. 

After  leaving  these  ruins,  we  continued  on  about 
an  east  course  for  three  hours,  when  we  came  to 
the  bank  of  a  stream,  or  fresh  water  river,  which 
was  now  no  larger  than  a  brook,  owing  to  the  dry- 
ness of  the  season.  It  flowed  from  the  south-east, 
and  bent  its  course  through  a  broad  valley  in  a 
crooked  channel,  nearly  north,  towards  the  sea- 
shore. On  its  left  bank,  which  was  very  high  land, 
stood  two  considerable  walled  villages,  and  a  great 
number  of  small  square-walled  enclosures  on  the 
same  bank  southward,  some  in  ruins  and  some  appa- 
rently in  good  repair.  The  walls  were  made  of 
rough  stones  laid  in  clay,  and  the  houses  had  flat 
roofs.  On  the  margin  of  the  brook  were  a  great 
number  of  gardens  fenced  in  with  dry  thorn  bushes, 
placed  on  the  ground,  and  planted  chiefly  with  the 
pricklv-pear;  but  some  with  squashes,  cabbages, 
&c.  At  a  distafice  on  both  sides  of  this  stream,  w^e 
saw  a  number  of  square  stone  sanctuaries,  or  saint 
houses,  with  round  domes : — they  did  not  appear  to 
be  more  than  ten  or  fifteen  feet  square,  and  were 


all  nicely  whitewashed.  This  bank  of  the  river 
bore  stronji^  marks  of  having  been  washed  to  a  very 
great  height  from  the  place  where  the  stream  then 
flowed,  and,  on  inquiring  of  Sidi  Mohammed,  I  was 
informed  that  the  whole  of  the  valley  between  the 
two  high  banks  (which  from  appearances  must  be 
five  or  six  miles  wide)  was  entirely  covered  with 
water  during  some  part  of  the  season,  or  when  great 
rains  fall ;  at  which  times  travellers  were  obliged  to 
go  up  the  banks  three  days'  journey  to  a  fall  before 
ihey  could  cross  it :  that  he  himself  had  once  b^^en 
that  way,  but  for  the  last  five  years  the  land  bad 
been  so  cursed  with  droughts,  that  it  had  not  once 
overflowed  its  present  bed  where  we  crossed  it,  and 
where  it  was  not  more  than  twenty  yards  wide,  and 
one  foot  in  depth. 

As  we  passed  along  close  to  the  prickly-poars, 
Avhich  hung  over  the  thorn  bushes,  bearing  yellow 
fruit,  some  of  my  men  plucked  them  and  put  them 
in  their  mouths,  without  regarding  the  sharp  prickles 
with  which  these  pears  were  covered,  so  that  their 
tongues  and  the  roofs  of  their  mouths  were  literally 
filled  with  them :  on  the  first  touch,  they  were  ex- 
tremely painful,  and  were  extracted  afterwards  with 
much  difficulty.  There  were  also  on  both  sides  of 
this  river,  near  where  we  crossed  it,  numerous 
herds,  and  many  inhabitants.  We  travelled  along 
the  right  bank  of  the  river  for  several  miles,  until  it 
became  both  wide  and  deep,  for  it  met  the  tide  water 
from  the  sea;  when  coming  within  sight  of  a  city  on 
the  high  right  bank,  we  made  towards  it.  On  our 
approaching  within  two  miles  of  its  walls,  we  passed 

236  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

large  fields  of  Indian  corn  and  barley  corn,  and  gar- 
dens filled  with  most  kinds  of  common  vegetables. 
The  borders  of  these  fields  and  gardens  were  plant- 
ed with  date,  fig,  pomegranate,  orange,  and  other 
fruit  trees  in  great  numbers,  and  many  clumps  of 
grape  vines :  the  soil  of  this  spot  appeared  to  be  of 
the  richest  black  mould.  As  we  passed  along  in  a 
high  footway,  formed  by  throwing  up  the  turf  from 
the  enclosures,  (apparently,  to  make  them  perfectly 
lefel,  or  all  of  a  gentle  descent)  we  saw  hundreds 
of  the  inhabitants  busily  employed  in  gathering  the 
Indian  corn  and  barley  corn  into  heaps,  for  it  was 
now  their  harvest  time,  while  others  (men  and  boys) 
were  loading;   it  in   sacks  and    baskets  on   camels, 


mules,  and  asses,  and  driving  them,  thus  loaded,  with 
the  rich  products  of  the  soil,  into  their  city.  These 
several  enclosures  contained,  I  should  judge,  one 
hundred  acres  of  land,  divided  from  each  other  by 
mud  walls,  strewed  v\^ith  dry  thorn  bushes;  the  whole 
were  watered  by  means  of  a  considerable  stream 
brought  from  the  heights  near  the  city,  in  a  large 
ditch,  and  carried  round  each  enclosure  in  small  gut- 
ters, dug  for  the  purpose ;  so  that  any  one  of  the 
owners  could  either  water  the  whole  or  any  part  of 
his  field  or  garden,  at  pleasure.  Hundreds  of  oxen 
and  cows,  sheep  and  goats,  were  feeding  in  the  newly 
cleared  fields,  whose  thin  and  famished  appearance 
proved  they  had  been  forced  to  feed  on  scanty  and 
dried  up  herbage  during  the  summer  months,  and 
that  on  account  of  the  long  and  excessive  droughts, 
they  had  merely  been  able  to  exist.  Rais  also  in- 
formed me,  that  the  locusts  had  nipped  off  and  de- 


stroked  nearly  every  verdant  thing  in  the  whole 
country;  and  t.'jat  for  the  last  five  years  they  had 
laid  waste  whole  provinces  in  the  empire  of  Morocco, 
We  now  arrived  at  the  city,  and  entered  it  at  a 
very  large  gateway,  with  our  camels  and  mules, 
and  took  up  our  quarters  in  a  smith's  shop,  near  the 
gate.  It  was  after  sunset  when  we  entered  this 
town,  and  I  could  observe  one  broad  street,  that 
appeared  to  run  its  whole  length.  The  houses  were 
built  of  rough  stones,  principally  laid  in  clay,  but 
some  in  lime  ;  all  of  one  story  high,  and  flat  roofed ; 
there  were  no  windows  next  the  street,  except  a 
small  aperture  in  each  one  not  a  foot  square,  for  the 
purpose  probably  of  admitting  light.  They  had 
each  a  stout  plank  door  strongly  made,  and  furnished 
with  a  big  clumsy  iron  lock.  The  corn  continued 
to  pass  into  the  city  till  dark, — all  the  camels,  oxen, 
cows,  sheep,  goats,  and  asses,  belonging  to  the  in- 
habitants, and  which  were  very  numerous,  were  also 
driven  into  the  city,  and  the  gate  shut  and  barred 
with  four  large  pieces  of  timber:  this  was  about 
eight  o'clock,  and  a  watch  was  then  stationed  on  the 
wall.  On  entering  the  city,  Rais  bel  Cossim  and  She- 
ick  Ali  waited  on  the  governor  or  chief,  and  obtain- 
ed permission  to  remain  in  his  town  over  night;  and 
a  few  dates  were  brought  by  Rais  for  our  suppers. 
The  shop  in  which  we  were  permitted  to  stay  was 
about  twenty  feet  square;  a  kind  of  forge  was  fixed 
in  one  corner;  two  skins  were  curiously  applied,  so 
as  to  form  a  bellows  to  blow  this  fire  with,  w'  ich 
was  of  charcoal ;  a  man  stood  between  them  with  a 
hand  on  each  skin,  which  he  raised  and  depressed 


238  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

alternately,  and  thus  kept  up  a  small  and  irregular 
stream  of  air.  Thej  had  a  large  piece  of  iron  for 
an  anvil,  which  lay  so  low  on  the  ground,  that  when 
they  worked  on  it  with  the  hammer,  which  was  a 
very  clumsy  sort  of  one,  they  were  obliged  to  squat 
down.  I  believe  every  man  and  boy  in  this  town 
came  to  look  at  us  by  turns,  and  ask  questions  con- 
cerning ourselves,  our  country,  &c.  so  that  we  were 
surrounded  with  people  during  the  whole  night,  chat- 
tering with  each  other,  and  asking  our  Arab  guides 
an  endless  string  of  questions. 

These  people  were  of  the  same  nation  we  had 
been  in  the  habit  of  seeing  since  we  came  to  the 
river  Nun,  yet  they  appeared  to  be  more  civilized. 
Several  of  them  asked  me  in  Spanish,  how  I  did  ? 
and  uttered  many  other  words  in  that  language,  the 
meaning  of  which  they  did  not  seem  to  understand; 
the  most  of  them  being  vile  oaths  and  execrations ; 
which  proved  satisfactorily  to  me  that  they  had  had 
frequent  communications  in  some  way  or  other  with 
people  of  that  nation.  Sheick  Ah  had  all  the  day 
after  we  left  Sidi  Mohammed's  house,  been  lost  in 
a  seeming  reverie :  he  would  seldom  speak,  and 
when  he  did,  it  was  in  a  low  voice  apart  with  Seid, 
and  I  strongly  suspected  that  some  plot  was  in  pre- 
paration between  them.  We  had  travelled  the  last 
day  about  five  hours,  at  the  rate  of  four  miles  an 
hour,  before  we  came  abreast  of  the  ruins  of  the 
city  I  have  described,  and  we  had  proceeded  five 
hours  afterward  at  the  same  rate,  making  together 
forty  miles. 


On  the  30  th  of  October,  we  made  ready  to  start 
before  dajlight,  and  as  soon  as  it  dawned,  the  gate 
was  opened,  and  we  proceeded  on  our  journey. 
The  walls  of  this  city  or  town,  were  built  of  rough 
stone  laid  in  clay,  and  were  four  feet  thick  at  their 
base  in  the  gateway,  and  about  twenty  feet  high, 
but  had  no  outer  ditch  to  defend  them,  nor  any  can- 
non mounted.  It  appeared  to  cover  a  space  of  about 
three  hundred  yards  in  length  along  the  river's 
bank,  north  and  south,  and  one  hundred  and  fifty 
yards  in  breadth  from  east  to  west.  The  channel 
of  the  river  at  low  stages  of  the  water  is  about  one 
mile  west  of  the  town : — this  river  is  called  by  the 
natives,  Woed  Sehkm,  or  river  Sehlem^  and  the  town, 
Rais  told  me,  bore  the  same  name ;  i.  e.  Sehlemak : 
it  is,  I  should  judge  from  its  appearance,  fifty  yards 
in  width  opposite  the  town  at  high  water,  and  pro- 
portionably  deep.  I  was  now  informed  by  Rais  bel 
Cossim  and  Sidi  Mohammed,  that  there  was  once  a 
large  and  flourishing  Christian  town  and  settlement 
near  the  mouth  of  this  river,  and  only  thirty  miles 
from  us ;  that  the  town  was  taken  by  storm  about 
eight  centuries  ago,  and  all  the  Christians  massa- 
cred. An  Arabian  century  contains  forty  lunar 
years,  and  is  called  Zille,  and  they  reckon  twelve 
moons  to  the  year.  Both  Rais  bel  Cossim  and  Sidi 
Mohammed  said  they  had  been  to  the  spot,  and  seen 
some  of  the  remains  of  the  walls,  which  were  still 
standing,  though  nearly  all  buried  up  in  sand  drifted 
from  the  sea-shore.  They  further  stated,  that  there 
was  now  a  village  at  a  little  distance  from  the  an- 
cient ruin,  inhabited   by  fishermen;    that  the   old 


,  Christian  town  was  situated  on  a  bay  or  arm  of  the 
^a,  and  five  or  six  miles  broad  at  its  entrance,  and  it  is  an  excellent  harbour  both  for  large  and 
snl^ll  vessels :  that  there  was  no  bar  across  its 
mouth,  but  tliat  the  usual  bar  was  formed  of  sand  a 
few  miles  below  the  town  we  had  left.  From  m^ 
own  observations  on  the  increasing  breadth  of  the' 
river,  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  this  baj  may  con- 
tain a  fine  harbour,  particularly  as  Rais  and  his  com- 
panion could  have  no  motive  for  deceiving  me. 
Rais  bel  Cossim  had  been  many  times  in  Europe  as 
captain  under  the  Moorish  flag,  in  the  grain  trade, 
and  insisted  that  this  was  a  better  harbour  than 
Cadiz :  if  so,  it  is  the  only  one  on  that  coast,  from 
Cape  Spartel,  in  latitude  34.  30.  to  the  latitude  of 
19.  north. 

Travelling  on  at  a  great  rate,  we  entered  on  a 
vast  plain,  over  whose  surface  a  few  shrubs,  and 
weeds,  and  clumps  of  trees  were  thinly  scattered : 
the  boughs  of  these  trees  were  bending  under  the 
weight  of  a  bright  yellow  fruit,  and  I  learned  from 
Rais  that  it  was  the  Arga  tree,  from  the  nut  of  which 
is  extracted  the  Argan  oil,  \ery  much  esteemed  by 
the  natives;  and  it  was  also  highly  relished  by  my 
companions.  This  nut,  when  ripe,  much  resembles 
the  ripe  date  in  appearance;  so  much  so,  indeed, 
^T  that  seeing  some  of  them  scattered  on  the  ground, 
r took  one  up  and  bit  it,  when  I  found  out  my  mis- 
take, ae  its  bark  was  extremely  bitter.  The  trees 
generally  grew  in  clusters  of  from  three  to  ten 
trunks,  that  seemed  to  spring  from  the  same  seed  : 
these  rise  in  a  shaft  of  from  ten  to  fifteen  feet  in 


height ;  and  then  branch  off  in  all  directions,  form- 
ing a  diameter  of  at  least  one  hundred  feet;  the 
trunks  are  from  one  to  three  feet  in  diameter;  the 
branches  are  covered  with  thorns,  which  fall  and  lie 
so  thick  on  the  ground,  as  to  make  it  almost  impos- 
sible to  approach  them  near  enough  to  shake  or 
knock  off  the  nuts,  and  they  are  consequently  left 
to  ripen  and  drop  off  spontaneously. 

We  were  now  going  on  at  a  small  trot,  mostly  all 
mounted  on  the  camels,  mules,  and  two  asses  that 
were  in  company.  The  Atlas  mountains  were  now 
full  in  view,  stretching  as  far  as  the  eye  could  reach 
from  N.  E.  to  S.  W.  at  some  distance  on  our  right. 
We  had  seen  these  mountains  for  several  days  past, 
in  the  distant  horizon,  when  we  were  on  the  high 
ridges,  which  we  were  obliged  to  pass;  but  we  now 
beheld  them  from  this  wide-spreading  plain  in  all 
their  awful  magnitude ;  their  lofty  summits,  tower- 
ing high  above  the  clouds  in  sharp  peaks,  appeared 
to  be  covered  with  never-melting  snows.  This  sight 
was  calculated  to  fill  the  mind  of  the  beholder  with 
wonder  and  astonishment.  The  cold  and  chilling 
blasts  of  wind  which  blew  directly  from  the  Atlas, 
almost  congealed  our  impoverished  blood,  and  made 
our  feeble  frames  shake  almost  to  dissolution,  not- 
withstanding the  good  cloaks  and  shoes  with  which 
we  were  provided.  Seid  and  the  other  Arabs  were 
also  shivering  with  cold,  and  ran  on  foot  to  make 
themselves  warm,  for  the  sky  was  overcast  afid  ob- 
scured by  thick  and  heavy  clouds,  portending  tor- 
rents of  rain.  I  was  now  sure  we  were  very  near 
the  emperor  of  Morocco^s  dominions,  and  began  to 

I  i 

242  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

imagine  myself  a  free  man — I  felt  myself  at  peace 
with  all  mankind;  my  mind  expanded  with  gratitude 
towards  the  great  Author  of  my  being,  and  I  viewed 
this  stupendous  ridge  of  mountains,  as  one  of  the 
strongest  proofs  of  Divine  goodness  to  his  creatures^ 
for  I  considered  that  all  the  rivers,  and  streams,  and 
springs,  that  Water  and  refresh  the  northern  part  of 
Africa,  from  the  borders  of  that  immense  and  thirsty 
desart  over  which  1  had  travelled,  to  the  streights  of 
Gibraltar,  and  which  empty  into  the  Atlantic  ocean, 
or  into  the  Mediterranean  sea,  westward  of  Tripoli, 
and  from  the  26th  to  the  35th  degree  of  North  lati- 
tude, must  either  take  their  rise  or  have  their  sources 
in  this  vast  chain  of  Atlas.  On  these  burning 
coasts,  seldom  refreshed  by  rains,  (and  that  only  in 
small  quantities,  and  during  the  winter  season,)  the 
great  bodies  of  accumulated  snow  on  these  moun- 
tains, tend  in  the  summer  season  to  cool  the  atmos- 
phere in  their  vicinity,  as  well  as  to  supply  water  for 
the  use  of  the  animal  and  vegetable  creation. 

In  the  course  of  this  morning,  Thomas  Burns 
became  so  weak  (being  benumbed  with  cold)  that 
he  could  no  longer  hold  on  the  camel,  and  tumbled 
off  over  the  beast's  tail  with  great  violence,  faUing 
on  his  head  and  back,  which  deprived  liim,  for  a 
considerable  time,  of  all  sensation : — with  much  ex= 
ertlon,  however,  on  our  part,  he  at  length  revived, 
and  was  again  placed  on  his  camel.  Proceeding  on 
the  plain,  we  saw  a  large  number  of  cities,  or  walled 
towns,  I  should  reckon  at  least  fifty,  some  on  one 
side  of  our  path,  and  some  on  the  other;  but  mostly 
on  our  right,  and  extending,-  as  far  as  the  eye  could 


reach  towards  the  mountains.  Those  near  the  path 
appeared  to  be  three  or  four  hundred  yards  square : 
the  walls  were  built  of  rough  stones  laid  in  clay, 
and  with  only  one  gate ;  they  were  from  twenty  to 
thirty  feet  in  height,  and  crowned  with  short  turrets 
about  three  yards  apart  all  around :  at  each  corner 
on  the  top  was  built  a  kind  of  circular  sentry  box, 
also  of  stone,  somethinof  in  the  manner  of  old  Euro- 
pean  castles.  Most  of  the  land,  at  some  distance 
from  the  vicinity  of  these  towns,  was  prepared  for 
sowing,  and  many  of  the  inhabitants  were  engaged 
in  ploughing.  A  little  nearer,  were  numerous  or- 
chards of  fig,  date,  and  other  fruit  trees;  and  close 
to  the  walls,  many  gardens  of  fine  vegetables,  such 
as  onions,  cabbages,  turnips,  squashes,  &c.  Round 
about  these  gardens,  we  saw  many  dung-hill  fowls, 
and  at  a  distance,  herds  of  neat  cattle,  asses,  and 
flocks  of  sheep  and  goats,  were  feeding  upon  the 
scanty  and  dried  up  herbage,  under  the  eye  of  their 
respective  keepers  or  herdsmen.  These  beasts 
were  very  poor,  yet  the  whole  seemed  to  promise 
abundance  of  food  to  the  apparently  industrious  in- 
habitants, and  brought  to  my  mind  the  ancient  Jew- 
ish history. 

Sheick  AH  had  been  very  attentive  to  me  all  this 
morning :  he  had,  in  imitation  of  Rais  bel  Cossim, 
called  me  captain,  and  endeavoured  to  convince  me 
that  I  had  better  go  with  him  to  the  mountains 
southward,  where  he  had  large  possessions,  and 
would  give  me  one  of  his  daughters  for  a  wife,  and 
make  me  a  chief  in  his  nation.  He  had  stopped  the 
ivhole  company  two  or  three  times  to  talk  over  his 


own  affairs,  and  I  now  supposed  that  Seid  was 
leagued  with  him,  and  bent  on  doing  me  and  my  men 
some  mischief.  We  had  travelled  on  thus  for  ten 
hours,  (say  from  four  in  the  morning  till  two  in  the 
afternoon)  at  the  rate  of  five  miles  an  hour,  making 
a  distance  of  fifty  miles,  when  turning  aside  from 
our  path,  as  if  by  choice,  we  approached  the  gate  of 
a  city.  We  were  both  hungry  and  thirsty,  and  we 
seated  ourselves  down  by  a  very  deep  well,  within 
one  hundred  yards  of  the  city  gate :  Seid  and  She- 
ick  All  went  immediately  into  the  town,  as  I  sup- 
posed, to  get  some  provisions — Sidi  Mohammed  and 
Rais  bel  Cossim  were  soon  invited  in  also,  to  partake 
with  them,  leaving  us  on  the  outside,  and  under 
charge  of  Bo-Moharamed,  who  stood  in  Sidi  Hamet's 
stead,  and  two  others.  A  great  many  men,  and  I 
believe,  all  the  boys  belonging  to  the  place,  now 
came  out  to  look  at,  and  make  remarks  on  the 
slaves ;  most  of  them,  no  doubt,  from  mere  curiosity. 
The  boys,  by  way  of  amusement,  began  to  throw 
stones  and  dirt  at,  and  to  spit  on  us,  expressing,  by 
that  means,  their  utter  contempt  and  abhorrence  of 
us  and  of  our  nation.  Burns  and  Clark  were  so  far 
exhausted  as  to  be  unable  to  support  themselves  sit- 
ting, and  were  obliged  to  lie  down  on  the  ground; 
but  one  man  brought  a  bucket  from  the  town,  and 
drew  water,  that  we  might  allay  our  thirst :  this  re- 
vived us  in  some  measure.  Mr.  Savage,  Horace, 
and  myself,  were  in  so  weak  a  state,  that  I  much 
feared  we  should  not  be  able  to  keep  on  for  the  re>» 
mainder  of  this  day.  Burns's  fall  had  proved  him 
to  be  too  weak  to  hold  on  the  camel,  and  had  be- 


sides  bruised  him  very  much.  I  tried  my  utmost  to 
encourage  them  and  keep  up  their  spirits,  by  repre- 
senting to  them  that  we  were  now  free,  and  would 
soon  he  in  the  emperor's  dominions,  where  I  pre- 
sumed we  shoukl  be  out  of  the  reach  of  the  rapa- 
cious Arabs :  for  I  had  been  informed  by  Rais  bel 
Cossim,  that  in  the  space  of  one  day's  journey  we 
should  be  within  the  territories  of  the  emperor. 
Whilst  Rais  bel  Cossim  and  the  rest  of  his  com- 
pany remained  within  the  walls,  the  winds  from  the 
mountains,  driving  before  them  thick  masses  of  dark 
clouds,  loaded  with  vapour,  brought  on  a  copious 
discharge  of  rain,  and  we  were  directed  to  enter 
under  the  gateway  for  shelter,  which  we  did,  sup- 
porting each  other  in  our  weakness,  and  seated  our- 
selves in  the  gate.  This  was  the  first  rain  I  had 
witnessed  in  this  country ;  and  it  continued  to  fall 
for  about  an  hour.  I  had  for  a  long;  time  looked  for 
Rais  bel  Cossim  and  his  companions  to  come  out, 
and  began  to  apprehend  some  disaster  or  treachery 
on  the  part  of  Sheick  Ali,  whose  harsh  and  loud 
voice  I  now  heard  roarins:  within.  This  tremendous 
clamour  between  the  Sheick  and  other  persons,  con- 
tinued for  about  two  hours,  when  Rais  bel  Cossim 
made  his  appearance,  escorted  by  a  number  of  men: 
his  intelligent  countenance  bespoke  fear,  grief,  and 
indignation — he  called  me  aside  from  my  companions, 
and  told  me  that  Sheick  */^H  was  the  intimate  friend 
of  Muley  Ibrahim^  (or  prince  Abraham,)  the  king  or 
governor  of  the  city:  that  Sheick  jUi  had  claimed 
us  as  his  property,  alleging  that  Sidi  was  his 
son-in-law,  and  owed  him  a  great  deal  of  money. 

246  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

and  that  he  (Sicli  Hamet)  was  now  held  as  a  host- 
age or  slave  to  a  Christian  in  Svvearah :  that  he  had 
insisted  we  should  not  proceed  one  step  further  un- 
til fifteen  hundred  dollars  were  produced,  together 
with  Sidi  Hamet,  the  husband  of  his  daughter:  and 
that  in  conjunction  with  Seid,  he  had  contrived  to 
stop  us  here  by  the  power  of  the  prince.  This 
news  was  to  me  like  a  clap  of  thunder;  it  bereft  me 
of  all  my  fortitude ;  the  fair  prospects  I  had  enter- 
tained of  a  speedy  liberation  from  slavery,  particu- 
larly for  the  last  two  days,  were  now  suddenly 
darkened.  Rais  bel  Cossim  further  informed  me 
that  he  had  argued  the  matter  every  way,  but  all 
to  no  purpose — that  he  had  promised  the  money  re- 
quired, namely,  six  hundred  dollars,  as  soon  as  we 
should  get  to  Santa  Cruz^  in  the  emperor's  dominions, 
and  that  he  would  agree  to  have  the  prince  and  She- 
ick  go  along  with  him  and  receive  it  there,  and 
there  wait  for  the  return  of  Sidi  Hamet ;  "  but  they 
will  not  listen  to  me,  (added  he)  and  I  must  set  off 
immediately  and  carry  this  discouraging  news  to 
Mr.  Willshire,  leaving  you  here  until  I  return,  (which 
will  be  in  six  days)  and  may  God  preserve  you  in 
the  meantime  from  their  evil  machinations."  This 
was  more  than  I  could  bear: — tears  of  anguish, 
which  I  had  not  the  power  to  control,  now  gushed 
from  my  eyes ;  and  my  almost  bursting  heart  vented 
itself  in  bitter  groans  of  despair.  My  companions 
heard  my  distress,  though  at  a  considerable  distance 
from  me,  and  turning  fearfully  on  me  their  almost 
extinguished  eyes,  begged  for  an  explanation  of  the 


Rais  bel  Cossim  was  just  in  the  act  of  mounting 
his  mule  to  ride  ofl',  when  Sidi  Mohammed,  who  went 
in  the  first  place  with  my  njaster  to  Swearah,  came 
Bear  him  and  said,  "  Rais — Muley  Ibrahim  and 
Sheick  Ali  have  determined  you  shall  not  go  to 
Swearah;  they  fear  you  will  cause  a  war  to  break 
out  between  them  and  the  sultan."  Observins:  me 
in  tears  and  in  great  affliction,  he  took  me  by  the 
hand,  and  said,  "  Don't  be  cast  down,  Riley,  I  will 
go  to  Swearah,  and  carry  a  letter  from  Rais,  and 
one  from  you  to  Willshire ;  and  if  he  wants  a  host- 
age, I  will  stay  with  him.  I  have  two  wives  and 
seven  children  to  leave,  and  houses,  and  lands,  and 
herds  of  cattle ;  and  shall  be  a  more  valuable  host- 
age than  Sidi  Hamet — he  is  your  friend,  and  will 
come  immediately  down  and  relieve  you.  God  is 
great  and  good,  (added  he)  and  will  restore  you  to 
your  family."  I  kissed  his  hand  in  gratitude,  and 
called  him  father,  and  hoped  the  Almighty  would  re- 
ward him  for  his  benevolence.  Rais  now  joined 
Sheick  Ali  and  the  prince,  who,  with  many  attend- 
ants, were  seated  on  the  ground,  in  a  circle,  outside 
of  the  city  gate — here  they  debated  the  matter  over 
again.  Rais  insisted  we  were  his  slaves ;  that  nei- 
ther the  prince  nor  Sheick  had  a  right  to  detain 
what  he  had  bought  with  his  own  money,  much  less 
to  stop  him  like  a  criminal :  that  it  was  contrary  to 
their  religion  (which  made  them  all  brothers)  t« 
commit  such  an  outrage  on  hospitality.  Sheick  Ali, 
on  the  other  hand,  contended,  that  Sidi  Hamet  and 
Seid  owed  him  money  to  a  large  amount ;  that  we 
ivere  their  joint  property,  and  that  consequently  he 

248  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

had  an  undoubted  right  to  detain  and  to  carry  lis  off 
into  his  own  tribe,  or  family,  and  there  to  keep  us, 
until  Sidi  Hamet  shouW  return  and  pay  his  debt. 
Rais  insisted  he  had  paid  his  money  for  us,  and  had 
nothing  to  do  with  Sheick  Ali's  claim;  however,  after 
extolling  the  justice  and  virtue  of  the  prince  to  the 
highest  pitch,  they  both  at  last  agreed  to  leave  it  to 
Muley  Ibrahim  to  decide  what  should  be  done. 
Muley  Ibrahim  now  asked  Sidi  Mohammed  and  Bo- 
Mohamraed  what  they  knew  concerning  this  busi- 
ness; and  they  gave  testimony  in  favour  of  Rais 
bel  Cossim's  previous  claim  :  thus  prepared,  Muley 
Ibrahim  said — "  You,  Sheick  Ali,  my  old  friend,  and 
Rais  bel  Cossira,  both  of  you  claim  these  five  Chris- 
tian slaves  as  your  own  property,  and  each  of  you 
has  some  reason  on  your  side — yet,  as  It  is  not  in  my 
power  to  decide  whose  claim  is  the  best  founded,  I 
am  resolved,  with  a  strict  regard  to  justice,  and  with- 
out going  into  further  evidence,  to  keep  the  slaves 
in  my  own  city,  carefully  guarded,  until  messengers 
can  be  sent  to  Swearah,  who  shall  bring  down  Sidi 
Hamet,  when  you  three  being  confronted,  may  settle 
your  claims  as  shall  be  found  most  consistent  with 
justice."  He  then  proposed  that  Rais  should  re- 
main with  him,  (like  a  friend)  and  without  having 
any  thing  to  fear.  This  plan  was  agreed  to  by  all 
parties,  and  they  shook  hands  upon  it  like  friends. 

This  done,  we  were  conducted  into  the  city,  and 
into  a  house  adjoining  that  where  the  prince  lived. 
A  mat  was  spread  for  the  Sheick  and  Rais,  and  their 
companions  to  sit  on,  while  we  were  placed  in  a 
narrow  corner  on  the  ground,  among  the  saddles 


and  other  stuffs — Sentinels  with  muskets  and  scimi- 
tars were  stationed  at  the  door  of  our  apartment 
and  the  other  doors,  and  at  the  city  gate.  It  was 
after  dark  when  the  dispute  was  settled,  and  soon 
afterwards  a  dish  of  Coos-coo-soo  was  brought  in,  of 
which  all  partook  after  due  ablutions ;  anJ^  they  then 
performed  their  evening  prayers  most  devoutly. 
My  companions  were  very  much  cast  down ;  and 
their  bodies  and  minds  were  so  much  exhausted  and 
debilitated  by  their  sufferings,  that  they  had  become 
like  children,  and  wept  aloud.  I  was  certain  that  it 
would  have  been  impossible  for  Clark  and  Burns  to 
have  proceeded  further  on  that  day,  and  I  tried  to 
persuade  them  all  that  it  was  better  for  us  to  be  de- 
tained a  little,  as  it  would  give  us  an  opportunity  of 
taking  some  rest,  without  which  we  should  be  in 
danger  of  fainting  on  our  route.  Muley  Ibrahim, 
the  Sheick,  and  Rais,  were  conversino^  durins:  the 
whole  night,  and  when  daylight  appeared,  (the  2d 
of  November)  Rais  furnished  me  with  pen,  ink,  and 
paper,  and  told  me  to  write  to  Mr.  Willshire,  stating 
our  present  situation  as  near  as  I  was  able :  this  I 
accordingly  did,  while  a  talb  or  scrivener  was  em- 
ployed in  writing  a  letter  for  him,  (as  he  could  not 
write  himself.)  At  an  early  hour  Seid,  Sidi  Mo* 
hammed,  and  Bo-Mohammed,  set  out  for  Swearah, 
taking  our  letters,  and  promising  to  return  as  soon 
as  possible.  Sheick  AH  also,  soon  afterwards,  left  us. 
promising  to  return  in  four  days. 




Rais  hel  Cossim  gains  the  friendship  of  the  prince- 
good  provisions  are  procured — Sheick  ^Ws  plans 
miscarry — they  set  off  for ^  a7id  arrive  at  Santa  Cruz, 
in  the  empire  of  Morocco. 

Being  now  left  alone  with  Rais  bel  Cossim,  I 
questioned  him  concerning  our  detention :  he  said  it 
would  be  but  for  a  {ew  days,  and  that  we  needed  a 
little  time  to  refresh  ourselves,  in  order  to  enable  u? 
to  bear  the  fatigues  of  the  remainder  of  our  jour- 
ney :  that  he  trusted  he  should  make  a  friend  of  the 
prince,  in  whose  power  we  all  now  were,  and  that 
he  hoped  to  be  able  to  effect  this  by  making  him  a 
small  present.  I  told  him  I  almost  despaired  of 
living  to  regain  my  liberty,  as  I  was  extremely  fee- 
ble, and  must  soon  perish.  "  What !  (said  he)  dare 
you  distrust  the  power  of  that  God  who  has  pre- 
served you  so  long  by  miracles }  No,  my  friend, 
(added  he)  the  God  of  heaven  and  of  earth  is  your 
friend,  and  will  not  forsake  you;  but  in  his  own  good 
time  restore  you  to  your  liberty  and  to  the  embraces 
of  your  family ;  we  must  say,  '•  his  will  be  done,'  and 
be  contented  with  our  lot,  for  God  knows  best  what 
is  for  our  good." 

To  hear  such  sentiments  from  the  mouth  of  u 
Moor,  whose  nation  I  had  been  taught  to  consider 
the  worst  of  barbarians,  I  confess,  filled  my  mind 
with  awe  and  reverence,  and  I  looked  up  to  him  as 
a  kind  of  superior  being,  when  he  added,  "  We  are 


all  children  of  the  same  heavenly  Father,  who  watch- 
es over  all  our  actions,  whether  we   be  Moor,  or 
Christian,  or  Pagan,  or  of  any  other  religion;  we 
must  perform  his   will."      Rais  then   called  Muley 
Ibrahim,  and  had  a  long  conference  with  him.     This 
prince  Ibrahim  was  a  man  of  a  very  mild  aspect,  of 
a   light  complexion,    about  five  feet  ten  inches  in 
heiirht,  and  rather  thin — his   countenance  was  in- 
tclligent,  and  he  was  very  active,  though  apparent- 
ly sixty  or  seventy  years  of  age.     By  the  tenor  of 
the  conversation  I  could  understand  that  Rais  was 
flattering  him  highly,   but   in   a  delicate  way:  he 
asked  very  affectionately  about  the  prince's  wives, 
and  understanding  he  had  but   one,  he  inquired  if 
she   had  any  children ;  and  was  answered,  she  had 
none :  he  next  wished  to  know  if  she  had  any  tea  or 
sugar,  and  was  answered  in  the  negative. 

We  had  not  seen  the  faces  of  any  of  the  women 
since  we  arrived  at  the  town  where  Sidi  Mohammed 
dwelt.     Rais  now  managed  to  get  a  little  wood  and 
some  water,  and  we  made  a  fire  and  boiled  some 
coffee ;  this  was  done  by  the  help  of  a  small  negro 
girl  who  was  a  slave  to  Muley  Ibrahim;  and  during 
the  absence  of  the  prince.     Rais,  by  giving  the  girl 
a  small  lump  of  loaf  sugar,  persuaded  her  to  carry 
a  large  lump  to  her  mistress,  and  also  a  cup  of  cof- 
fee thick  with  sugar.     The  prince  had  gone  out  be- 
fore Rais  attempted  to  bribe  the  girl.     After  carry- 
ing in  the  coffee  and   the  sugar,  the  girl  returned 
and  told  Rais  that  her  mistress  was  much  obliged  to 
him,  and  would  keep  the  cup  and  saucer,  for  she  had 
never  seen  oae  before,  and  thought  them  very  pret- 


tj,  and  begged  to  know  how  she  might  serve  him  in 
return.  Rais  sent  back  word  that  she  could  serve 
him  most  essentially  by  striving  to  make  the  prince 
his  friend.  About  one  hour  after  this,  Muley  Ibra- 
him entered  our  apartment,  and  asked  Rais  what  he 
had  been  doing  with  his  wife  ?  saying,  at  the  same 
time,  "  You  had  no  need  of  gaining  my  friendship 
through  her  influence,  for  you  had  it  already;"  but 
I  could  perceive  a  very  great  difference  in  his  man- 
ner. He  wished  to  know  if  Rais  did  not  want  to 
go  to  the  mosque,  which  he  said  was  not  far  distant. 
Rais  accompanied  him  thither,  and  I  discovered  at 
his  return,  about  two  hours  after,  that  all  was  right 
between  him  and  the  prince,  and  that  he  had  all  the 
hberty  he  required.  I  had,  in  the  meantime,  made 
some  coifee,  of  which  my  companions  and  myself^ 
drank  as  much  as  we  wanted,  and  nibbled  our  bis-  * 
cuits,  for  our  Arab  friends  had  before  taken  care  to 
eat  up  all  our  boiled  tongue.  We  were,  all  of  us. 
so  excessively  weak,  that  we  were  not  able  to  fetch 
water  for  ourselves,  and  our  diarrhoea  also  continued 
with  the  most  distressing  hermorrhoides :  this  day, 
however,  had  passed  away  more  smoothly  than  I 
had  expected.  In  the  evening,  the  prince  came, 
and  prayed,  in  company  with  Rais,  and  appeared 
very  friendly.  After  the  prince  retired,  Rais  inform- 
ed me  that  he  (Rais)  had  sent  off  to  a  rich  man,  an 
old  acquaintance  of  his,  who  lived  about  one  day's 
journey  south  of  us,  for  money  to  pay  Sheick  Ali's 
demand,  and  that  he  expected  his  friend  would  come 
to  him  the  next  day — "but  (said  Rais)  God  has  made 
Muley  Ibrahim  my  firm  friend ;  and  he^j^as  given  his 


princely  word  that  lie  will  protect  both  me  and  my 
slaves,  and  in  case  force  is  necessary,  he  will  pro- 
vide a  sufficiency  to  escort  us  into  the  emperor's 
dominions — he  will  also  provide  some  fowls  and 
eggs  for  you  in  the  morning,  and  you  may  tell  your 
shipmates  they  have  nothing  to  fear,  for  to-morrow 
M.  Shaikh^  (i.  e.  if  it  is  God's  will)  they  shall  have 
plenty  of  good  food."  This  news  cheered  their 
spirits,  and  as  our  apprehensions  had  in  seme  mea- 
sure subsided,  we  rested  comfortably. 

Early  in  tlie  morning  of  November  the  3d,  Muley 

ibrahim  brought  in  some  eggs,  which  we  boiled  for 

Qur  breakfast :  he  gave  us  salt  to  season  them  with, 

aad  soon  after  broug-ht  half  a  dozen  fowls,  and  Rais 

taking  the  fowls'  wings  in  his  left  hand,  and  turning 

hiaface  towards  the  east,  after   saying  aloud,  Bes- 

mihah^  (in  the  name  of  the  most  holy  God)  he  cut 

thei\   throats,   and  we  soon  dressed  them  after  our 

fashlyn,  and   put   them   into   an   earthen    pot    with 

watei  and  set  it  a  boiling.     The  prince  had  fur- 

nisheA  us  with  wood,  and  brought  us  water  with  his 

own  hVnds;  he  next  went  into  his  garden,  and  pulled 

some  o\ions,  turnips,  and  small  squashes,  with  which 

we  enribhed  our  soup;  and  he  also  gave  us  salt  and 

green  ptopers  to  season  it  with.     We  put  in  four 

fowls,  ard  this  soup  would  have  been  thought  good 

in  any  cd^^ntry.     A  more  grateful  and  wholesome 

<lish  coula  not  possibly  have  been  prepared  for  our 

poor  disort^red  stomachs,  that  had  been  so  long 

harassed  wlh  the  most  cruel  griping   pains,    rnd 

felt  as  if  the)  had  lost  all  power  of  digestion.     T  he 

prince  and  Ra^  had  a  bowl  of  the  soup,  with  a  part  of 

the  fowls,  and  v^emed  to  relish  it  exceedingly.    The 


prince  insisted  on  my  eating  from  the  same  dish  with 
them:  inquired  concerning  my  wife  and  children,  wish- 
ed to  know  their  sex :  and  continued  from  that  time  dur- 
ing ourstay  in  hiscity  to  administer  all  the  relief  and 
comfort  in  his  powder,  both  to  me  and  my  desponding 
and  wretched  companions,  whose  last  ray  of  hope 
had  faded  away  on  our  being  stopped  here  ;  although 
in  fact  they  were  not  in  a  condition  to  continue  their 
journey,  particularly  Burns  and  Clark,  for  they  had 
sunken  into  a  letharofic  state,  borderino;  on  dissolution. 
Yet,  when  I  was  enabled  to  explain  the  causes  of  ou^ 
detention,  and  to  inform  them  that  the  prince  wrs 
our  friend,  and  gave  them  nourishing  soups,  their 
spirits  came  again,  and  hope  raised  them  from  tie 
ground. — To  the  circumstance  of  this  stoppage  aloie, 
and  the  friendship  and  protection  of  this  good  clief, 
I  attribute,  under  Providence,  the  salvation  of  our 
lives.  On  the  second  day  of  our  detention,  ii  the 
afternoon,  the  old  man,  Rais  bel  Cossim's  frieid,  to 
whom  he  had  written  for  assistance,  came  to  see  him : 
he  had  been  riding  all  night  to  be  with  Rais  ii  time. 
Their  meeting  was  a  friendly  one :  the  old  nan  had 
two  mules,  on  one  of  which  were  two  baskts,  con- 
taining a  dozen  of  fowls,  and  some  dry  coos-coo-soo ; 
these  he  presented  to  Rais,  and  said  he  hac  brought 
five  hundred  dollars  for  his  use,  as  he  requ3sted,  and 
that  he  would  bring  it  in :  but  Rais  had  n*w  become 
the  friend  of  Muley  Ibrahim,  and  therefore  did  not 
need  the  money ;  yet  this  old  friend  in-isted  on  his 
taking  the  fowls  as  a  present,  with  somr  eggs  he  had 
also  brought  with  him ;  these  Rais  ac-epted,  for  he 
said  they  were  meant  as  a  present  to  me.  •  I  had 
some  fowls  cooked  already,  and  the  ed  man  sat  down 

SUFFERINGS    IN    AFRICA.  i  255 

and  ate  with  Rais,  and  would  have  me  to  be  one  of 
the  company:  he  told  Rais  that  if  he  would  but  say 
the  word,  he  would  go  and  collect  his  friends  and 
take  the  slaves  by  force  of  arms,  and  in  spite  of  Sheick 
Ali's  opposition  would  carry  us  safe  to  Santa  Cruz, 
and  beyond  liis  power :  but  as  Muley  Ibrahim  had 
given  his  word,  on  which  Rais  said  he  could  depend, 
to  see  us  all  safe  to  Santa  Cruz,  and  to  use  all  his 
force  and  influence,  if  that  should  be  necessary,  the 
old  man,  whose  name  I  am  sorry  to  say  I  have  forgot- 
ten, left  us  and  returned  to  his  home.  We  now  lived 
for  three  days  as  well  as  we  could  wish. 

On  the  fourth  day  after  Seid's  departure,  akindof 
fair  was  held  at  a  short  distance  from  our  city,  and 
Rais  told  me  he  was  going  to  it,  and  would  try  by  some 
manoeuvre  to  liberate  us,  and  to  get  us  on  towards 
the  sultan's  dominions. — A  man  of  great  influence 
lived  about  i^ive  leagull  distance  from  that  city.  He 
was  called  a  son  of  the  holy  piophot,  or  Sharif;  had 
been  to  Morocco,  and  was  also  called  elajjh:  (the  pil- 
grim;) he  was  looked  upon  by  all  far  and  near  as  pos- 
sessing supernatural  powers,  and  was  obeyed  and  al- 
most worshipped  as  a  superior  being;  and  his  word 
or  dictate  was  equivalent  to  a  law.  Rais  went  to 
the  fair  and  from  thence  to  the  place  of  worship,  and 
did  not  return  until  the  afternoon,  when  he  inform- 
ed me  he  had  bought  a  bullock  at  the  fair,  the  best 
and  fattest  he  could  find,  tbough  it  was  but  a  small 
©ne.  He  had  sent  one  half  of  it  to  the  son  of  the  pro- 
phet (or  Shariff)  by  the  hand  of  a  messenger,  on  a 
mule,  saying,  when  you  deliver  the  flesh  to  the  el 
ajjh,  and  he  asks  you  who  sent  it  to  him,  tell  him  a 

256  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

pious  man,  who  has  lately  come  from  Swearah,  and 
is  now  a  guest  with  Muley  Ibrahim,  and  wishes  to 
be  remembered  in  your  prayers."  This,  Rais  said,  was 
all  the  message  he  sent,  but  he  was  sure,  that  if  the 
Shariffaccepted  the  present,  he  should  see  him  before 
the  sun  went  down.  Rais  had  given  the  other  half  to 
Muley  Ibrahim,and  remarked,  that  it  was  not  so  much 
the  real  value  of  a  present  that  was  taken  into  con- 
sideration by  the  Moors,  but  the  manner  of  givijjg  it, 
which  laid  the  receiver  under  such  an  obligation,  as  to 
make  him  your  friend  forever. — This  notion  I  was  at 
a  loss  to  understand,  and  therefore  supposed  it  to  be 
some  peculiarity  in  the  customs  of  these  singular 
people.  Rais  went  out  to  prayers  about  sunset,  and 
returned  in  a  short  time ;  when  he  mentioned  t^at 
he  had  been  waited  upon  by  the  Shariff,  who  had 
asked  him  what  favour  he  wanted,  that  made  him 
send  such  a  present  to  a  stran^r. — Rais  told  him  our 
story,  and  that  he  had  paid  his  money  for  myself  and 
my  companions,  and  begged  his  assistance  to  force 
Sheick  Ali  (whose  power  all  dreaded)  to  consent  to 
have  us  removed  quietly  to  Santa  Cruz ;  where  Rais 
thought  his  property  would  be  safe :  this  the  Shariif 
promised  to  do,  and  even  to  exert  all  his  influence  if 
necessary,  to  remove  and  orotect  Rais  and  his  pro- 
perty by  force  of  arms,  and  requested  to  be  informed 
without  delay  when  Sheick  Aii  returned. 

On  the  following  day  (November  4th)  the  Sheick 
did  return;  and  relyingon  the  friendshipof  Muley  Ibra- 
him, had  only  one  attendant:  the  Shariff  was  imme- 
diately informed  of  his  arrival,  by  express,  and  came 
to  see  him  as  an  old  friend;  then  taking  him  aside,  he 


advised  the  Sheick  to  remove  his  slaves  to  Santa 
Cruz  as  soon  as  possible,  asserting  at  the  same  time 
that  he  was  certain  that  Sidilskem,  whom  the  Sheick 
well  knew  and  dreaded,  would  set  out  from  his  city 
on  the  morrow  with  a  force,  in  order  to  seize  upon 
the  slaves,  whom  he  had  before  strove  hard  to  pur- 
chase for  money  without  success,  and  if  they  were  not 
in  the  dominions  of  the  emperor  before  he  came,  ano- 
ther day  would  place  them  in  his  hands,  when  the 
Sheick  would  not  only  lose  them,  but  it  must  also 
kindle  a  war  between  him  and  that  powerful  chief; 
which  would  set  the  whole  country  in  a  blaze,  and 
after  all  it  would  be  impossible  to  deliver  them  from 
his  grasp  by  force  of  arms.  When  the  Sheick  heard 
the  advice  of  the  Shariff,  he  returned  to  our  prison, 
and  Rais  contrived  to  find  out  what  had  passed  be- 
tween them,  by  again  meeting  the  Shariff  at  the  city 
gate  alone,  as  had  been  before  agreed  upon.  Rais  be- 
ing thus  fully  informed  and  let  into  the  secret,  came 
into  the  apartment  and  informed  me  how  matters 
stood.  Sheick  Ali,  in  the  mean  time,  was  unfolding 
his  plan  to  Muly  Ibrahim,  and  trying  to  gain  his 
consent  to  let  the  slaves  be  carried  off  in  the  night 
by  surprise,  but  the  prince  would  not  consent;  they 
were  now  within  his  walls,  and  he  had  given  his  word 
they  should  not  be  removed  until  the  disputed  right 
of  property  was  settled  by  all  parties  face  to  face  : — 
this  he  should  insist  on.  Finding  that  plan  would 
not  answer  any  good  purpose,  and  fearing  Sidilshem's 
expected  arrival,  and  wishing  to  make  a  merit  of  neces- 
sity, this  crafty  chief  addressing  Rais  bel  Cossim,  told 
him,  in  a  flattering  way,  that  h«  had  found  him  to  be 

258  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

a  good  and  an  honourable  man,  and  wished  to  be  cal- 
led his  friend ;  that  he  did  not  doubt  Rais's  word, 
since  he  knew  his  character,  and  would  therefore 
consent  to  go  on  with  the  slaves  on  the  morrow  morn- 
ing, as  far  as  Santa  Cruz,  where  they  would  wait 
for  the  arrival  of  Sidi  Hamet,  and  settle  the  right  of 
property  amicably.  Rais,  on  the  other  hand,  as  crafty 
as  the  Sheick,  took  care  not  to  evince  any  desire  of 
going,  and  being  in  the  whole  secret,  now  told  Sheick 
Ali,  that  he  had  stopped  him  and  his  Christian  slaves 
at  first  contrary  to  the  laws  of  justice  and  hospitality, 
and  that  as  he  had  kept  them  so  long  a  time,  he 
had  no  wish  to  remove  them  at  present,  but,  would 
wait  with  patience  until  Sidi  Hamet  should  come 
down,  and  convince  the  Sheick  that  he  had  done 
wrong  in  detaining  him. 

At  last,  however,  he  suffered  himself  to  be  persuaded 
by  the  united  voices  of  Sheick  Ah  and  Muley  Ibra- 
him, but  on  the  express  condition  of  being  escorted 
to  Santa  Cruz  by  the  prince,  who  was  a  party  in  the 
whole  secret.  He  was  also  to  procure  camels  for  us 
to  ride  on,  and  went  forth  to  engage  and  have  them, 
ready  for  a  start  at  daylight  the  next  morning.  Rais 
bel  Cossim  now  informed  me  that  Muley  Ibrahim  had 
previously  agreed  to  accompany  us  ;  that  we  were  to 
ride  on  camels,  and  that  two  hundred  horsemen  were 
to  guard  us  on  the  road,  in  order  to  prevent  any 
treachery  on  the  part  of  Sheick  Ali,  who  might  al- 
ready have  troops  stationed  on  the  way  to  seize  and 
carry  us  off  to  the  mountains  :  he  had  also  given  pri- 
vate orders  to  his  friends  and  his  vassals,  to  hold 
themselves  in  readiness  in  case  of  an  alarm.     The 


two  hundred  horsemen  Avere  to  take  stations,  so  as  to 
keep  us  in  continual  view  without  exciting  suspicion, 
and  to  be  ready  to  carry  intelHgence.  Rais  then 
bade  me  kill  and  boil  what  fowls  and  eggs  remained, 
which  I  did,  with  the  assistance  of  my  men^  who  had  very 
much  recovered. 

Character  of  Sidi  Ishem. 

Wliile  the  fowls   and  eggs   were  cooking,  I  asked 
Rais  who  this  Sidi  Ishem  was  ?  as  his  name  alone  had 
seemed  capable  of  inspiring  such  dread.     "  This  Sidi 
Ishem^''''  said    Rais,  "  is  a  descendant   of  the  former 
kings    of    Suse,  before    it  was    conquered  by    the 
Moors  ; — he  is  a  man  of  between  fifty  and  sixty  years 
of  age,  possessed  of  great  wealth  and  power, -^  is  very 
crafty,  and  very  brave,  but  rapacioip  and  cruel ;  he 
has  under  his  command  fifteen    tSiousand  horsemen, 
well  armed : — they  are   of  the  race  of  the    ancient 
inhabitants    of  the  country,   from  whom    the  whole 
country  derives   the  name  o(  Berberta,  corrupted  by 
the  Europeans  into  Barbary  ; — these  Berberians  are 
extremely  fierce  and  warlike,  and  are  joined  by  all 
the  renegado  Moors,  who  escape  from  the  Emperor's 
dominion,  to  evade  punishment  for  crimes  they  have 
committed.     These  men  are  always  ready  to  join  him 
in  any  of  his  enterprises,  for  they  always  get  a  share 
of  the  spoil.     He  lives  in  the  gorge  of  a  mountain, 
near  the  town  of  WidRoon,  on  the  great  route  from 
Morocco  across  the  great   desart,  to  Soudain,  the 
country  beyond  the  desart,  and  the  city  of  Tombuc- 
too.     All  the  caravans  that  go  either  to  or  from  the 


desart  are  obliged  to  go  close  to  Widnoon,  and  as  the 
Atlas  mountains  are  on  the  one  side,  and  the  ridge 
next  the  sea  on  the  other,  they  find  it  highly  neces- 
sary to  secure  his  friendship  and  protection  by  pre- 
sents.— Between  this  chief  and  the  Emperor  of  Mo- 
rocco there  exists  the  most  implacable  hatred,  and  a 
continual  jealousy,  which  a  few  years  ago  broke  out 
into  an. open  war.  The  emperor  sent  a  powerful  army 
against  him,  (said  to  be  30,000  strong)  but  Sidi 
Ishem  was  apprized  of  its  approach  in  time,  and  sent 
off  all  the  women,  children,  and  old  men,  with  all 
their  substance,  to  the  south  foot  of  the  Atlas  moun- 
tains, and  on  the  great  desart.  The  emperor's  army 
entered  his  territory,  where  they  found  nothing  to 
subsist  upon ;  yet  as  they  met  with  no  resistance,  they 
carried  on  their  work  of  destruction,  by  burning  all 
the  towns  and  every  thing  that  was  combustible,  tear- 
ing down  the  houses  and  walls  of  their  cities,  so  that 
nothing  escaped  their  violence  and  rapacity.  They 
continued  pursuing  Sidi  Ishem  (who  hovered  about 
them  with  most  of  his  men)  until  they  were  exhaust- 
ed by  fatigue  and  hunger ;  when  this  chief  fell  upon 
them  by  surprise  with  his  infuriated  followers,  who 
had  been  rendered  doubly  desperate  by  the  sight  of 
their  ruined  cities.  They  slew  more  than  ten  thou- 
sand on  the  spot ;  those  who  escaped  this  dreadful 
carnage,  and  fled,  were  hunted  down  and  nearly  all 
destroyed,  before  they  could  reach  the  city  of  Taru- 
dani^  (the  southern  and  westernmost  town  in  the 
emperor  of  Morocco's  dominions)  where  the  few  that 
were  left  found  shelter,  and  spread  such  terror  and 
dismay  throughout  that  part  of  the  empire,  by  the 


horrid  accounts  they  gave  of  their  disasters,  as  to 
render  it  impracticable  to  raise  another  army  for 
the  purpose  of  reducing  Sidi  Ishem  and  his  men  to 
submission.  All  the  inhabitants  were  soon  re- 
called by  their  chief  from  the  mountains  and 
desarts ;  took  possession  of  their  country  anew,  re- 
built their  cities  and  dwelhngs,  and  are  at  this  time 
more  powerful,  more  feared  and  respected,  than  they 
were  previous  to  that  event."  This  is  the  account 
Rais  bel  Cossim  gave  me  in  Spanish,  as  nearly  as  my 
memory  served  me,  when  I  took  it  down  at  Moga- 
dore  : — he  also  said  that  we  had  escaped  falling  into 
his  hands  only  by  groping  our  way  along  a  private 
path  on  the  sea  shore.  The  substance  of  this  account 
of  Sidi  Ishem  was  confirmed,  after  my  arrival  at  Mo- 
gadore,  by  Mr.  Willshire  and  others. 

Our  food  being  prepared,  and  every  thing  packed 
up  tight  for  a  start,  we  got  a  short  nap,  and  at  day- 
light on  the  morning  of  the  4th  of  November,  we 
were  placed  on  five  camels,  which  were  saddled 
much  better  than  any  we  had  hitherto  rode  :  they 
had  on  them  also  bags  of  barley,  and  empty  sacks, 
made  of  tent  cloth,  that  would  hold,  I  should  suppose, 
ten  or  twelve  bushels ;  these  altogether  made  quite 
a  comfortable  seat,  though  rather  a  wide  one,  and 
"we  could  hold  ourselves  on  by  the  ropes  that  secured 
the  lading  :  they  placed  me  on  the  largest  camel  I  had 
yet  seen,  which  was  nine  or  ten  feet  in  height.  The 
camels  were  now  all  kneeling  or  lying  down  : — and 
mine  among  the  rest.  I  thought  I  had  taken  a  good 
hold  to  steady  myself  while  he  was  rising — yet,  his 
motion  was  so  heavy,  and  my  strength  so  far  exhaust- 

262  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

ed,  that  I  could  not  possibly  hold  on,  and  tumbled 
off  over  his  tail,  turning  entirely  over.  I  came  down 
upon  my  feet,  which  prevented  my  receiving  any  ma- 
terial injury,  though  the  shock  to  my  frame  was  very 
severe. — The  owner  of  the  camel  helped  me  up,  and 
asked  me  if  I  was  injured? — I  told  him  no — "God 
be  praised,"  said  he,  "  for  turning  you  over ;  had 
you  fallen  upon  your  head,  these  stones  must  have 
dashed  out  your  brains;  but  the  camel,"  added  he,  "  is 
a  sacred  animal,  and  heaven  protects  those  who  ride 
on  him !  had  you  fallen  from  an  ass,»though  he  is  only 
two  cubits  and  a  half  high,  it  would  have  killed  you  ; 
for  the  ass  is  not  so  noble  a  creature  as  the  camel  and 
the  horse." — I  afterwards  found  this  to  be  the  pre- 
vaihng  opinion  among  all  classes  of  the  Moors  and 
the  Arabs. — When  they  put  me  on  again,  two  of  the 
men  steadied  me  by  the  legs  until  the  camel  was  fairly 
up,  and  then  told  me  to  be  careful,  and  to  hold  on  fast : 
they  also  took  great  care  to  assist  my  companions  in 
the  same  way. 

Being  now  all  mounted,  we  set  off  to  the  N.  E. 
leaving  Stuka,  (for  that  was  the  name  of  the  place 
where  we  had  been  confined)  accompanied  by  Rais 
bel  Cossim,  Muley  Ibrahim,  and  his  two  servants,  and 
Sheick  Ali,  with  his  attendant,  all  riding  on  mules  and 
asses  :  the  five  owners  of  the  camels  went  on  foot^ 
each  driving  his.  own  camel,  and  taking  care  of  its 
rider. — Stuka  wa.shm\t  in  a  quadrangular  form;  its 
walls  would  measure  about  three  hundred  yards  on 
each  angle;  they  were  built  of  rough  stone,  laid  in 
clay,  and  appeared  to  be  four  or  five  feet  thick  at 
their  base,  and  twenty  feet  in  height,  tapering  oif  to 

aUFFERl^JGS    IN    AVUICA.  263 

two  ieet  thick  at  the  top,  and  were  crowned  with 
turrets  all  around.  It  had  but  one  gate,  which  was 
at  its  north  angle,  very  strongly  made,  and  swinging 
on  the  ends  of  its  back  posts,  which  were  let  into 
large  stone  sockets  at  the  bottom  and  at  the  top  : 
the  gate  consisted  of  two  folding  leaves,  and  at  night 
was  secured  by  four  heavy  wooden  bars.  The  town 
was  divided  within,  into  as  many  compartments  as 
there  were  families  in  it,  which  1  should  think  might 
amount  to  three  hundred,  probably  containing  in  all 
five  thousand  souls.  The  houses  were  built  of 
the  same  materials  as  the  walls ;  only  one  story  high, 
and  flat  roofed :  except  the  door,  they  looked  like 
heaps  of  mud  and  stone :  even  that  of  the  prince 
bore  the  same  appearance,  without  any  other  distinc- 
tion or  ornament  than  being  closer  jointed  and  more 
bedaubed  with  mud. — All  the  flocks  and  herds  were 
driven  within  the  walls  every  night,  and  each  owner 
makes  those  that  belong  to  him  lie  down  in  his  own 
yard  or  enclosure. 

As  we  travelled  on,  we  passed  between  a  great 
number  of  cities  or  towns,  similar  in  appearance  to 
Stiika^  with  which  this  truly  vast  plain  is  chequered. 
The  whole  plain  seemed  very  fertile,  was  planted 
with  numerous  groves  and  orchards  of  fig  and  other 
fruit  trees,  with  here  and  there  a  clump  of  the  arga 
tree,  yellow  with  fruit.  The  inhabitants  were  busied 
in  ploughing-up  the  sdil,  with  a  kind  of  plough  which 
I  shall  hereafter  describe. — We  proceeded  on  very 
rapidly,  keeping  those  on  foot  running  constantly,  and 
had  been  travelling  about  six  hours,  when  we  came 
t©the  ruins  of  many  towns  on  our  left,  similar  in  ap- 


pearance  to  Stuka ;  near  the  shattered  walls  of  some 
of  which  stood  several  battering  machines,  but  they 
were  at  the  distance  of  a  raile  or  more  from  us. 
These  places  appeared  to  have  been  recently  inhabi- 
ted; for  the  gardens  near  the  walls  were  still  green 
with  vegetation.  Wishinsr  to  know  what  had  been  the 
cause  of  such  desolation,  I  was  informed  by  Muley 
Ibrahim  and  Sheick  Ali,  through  Rais  bel  Cossim, 
that  a  family  quarrel  happened  about  one  year  ago 
between  the  chiefs  of  two  of  these  towns,  which  soon 
broke  out  into  the  most  dreadful  kind  of  warfare — 
each  party  engaged  their  friends  to  assist  them  in 
fighting  what  each  termed  their  righteous  battles :  the 
neighbouring  towns  joined,  some  on  one  side,  and 
some  on  the  other,  and  the  plain  was  deluged  with 
blood.  This  quarrel  being  only  of  a  family  nature, 
Sidi  Ishem  did  not  interfere,  and  it  was  finally  settled 
by  the  destruction  of  seven  of  those  small  cities,  and 
most  of  their  inhabitants.  These  ruins  were  now 
entirely  abandoned,  and  their  environs  laid  desolate, 
though  the  war  continued  only  one  month.  I  could 
scarcely  believe  it  possible  for  such  devastation  to 
have  been  committed  in  so  short  a  time  or  on  such 
trivial  grounds ;  but  Rais  bel  Cossim  (who  was  born 
near  Santa  Cruz)  assured  me  that  nothing  was  more 
common  than  such  feuds  between  families  in  those 
parts:  that  he  had  knowomany  himself,  with  every 
circumstance  attending  them,  and  that  they  were 
very  seldom  finished  until  one  family  or  the  other 
was  exterminated,  and  their  names  blotted  out  from 
the  face  of  the  earth 


V/e  continued  our  journey  until  about  mid-day  still 
on  the  plain,  when  Santa  Cruz  or  Agader  was  dig- 
tinctly  seen  and  pointed  out  to  me.  It  is  situated  on 
the  summit  of  a  high  mountain;  its  walls  are  white, 
and  can  be  descried  at  a  great  distance.  The  plain 
on  which  we  travelled  was  nearly  level ;  not  a  brook 
or  stream  of  water  had  we  passed  since  leaving  the 
last'  mentioned  river,  but  the  towns  and  villages  had 
many  deep  wells  near  their  walls,  from  which  the  inha- 
bitants drew  water  for  themselves  and  their  numerous 
cattle. — Innumerable  clumps  of  the  evergreen  arga 
tree,  loaded  with  the  rich  oil  nut,  were  scattered  over 
the  plain  in  every  direction.  Vast  numbers  of  leaf- 
less fig  trees,  and  enclosures  of  grape  vines  with  date, 
pomegranate,  almond,  orange,  and  other  fruit  trees, 
promised  abundance  in  their  seasons;  and  delightfully 
varieirated  the  scene. — Hundreds  of  the  inhabitants 
were  busied  in  ploughing  the  soil,  which  appeared 
rich,  though  dry;  and  sowing  their  barley;  while 
their  herds  were  browsing  on  the  shrubs  round 
about  for  the  want  of  grass. — Many  unarmed  men, 
with  droves  of  camels  and  asses  loaded  with  salt  and 
other  merchandise,  were  meeting  and  passing  us  al- 
most continually.  We  saw  also,  from  time  to  time, 
bands  of  armed  men  on  horseback,  of  about  fifty  in 
each  band,  most  of  whom  I  learned  from  Rais  Y»?ere 
the  friends  of  Muley  Ibrahim,  whom  he  had  request- 
ed to  ride  guard,  as  I  before  mentioned,  and  to  be 
ready  to  act  in  our  behalf  in  case  of  treachery,  or 
of  any  emergency  whatever.  Our  path  led  us  in  a 
N.  E.  direction,  and  the  camels  were  kept  most  of 
the  time  on  a  great  trot,   while   their  drivers  were 

ivi  m 


running  on  foot,  and  kept  up  with  U3,  seemingly, 
with  great  ease;  though  I  compute  we  rode  at  the 
rate  of  seven  or  eight  miles  an  hour. 

About  two  P.  M.  approaching  the  coast,  we  fell  ia 
with  huge  drifts  of  loose  sand  on  our  left,  which 
extended  to  the  sea  shore.  This  sand  had  been 
driven  from  the  sea  beach  by  the  constant  trade 
winds,  and  as  the  sea  had  retired,  (for  it  was  clean 
coarse  beach  sand)  it  had  undoubtedly  for  ages  been 
making  its  way  gradually  from  the  coast,  (which  was 
now  about  twenty  miles  distant)  and  had  buried,  as 
I  was  informed,  several  flourishing  villages,  towns, 
and  cities,  the  tops  of  whose  walls  were  still  visible ; 
the  circular  domes  of  a  considerable  number  of 
saint-houses,  or  sanctuaries,  whose  bodies  were  en- 
tirely enveloped,  were  yet  to  be  seen  among  these 
barren  heaps  of  overwhelming  sands ;  for  the  in- 
habitants take  great  care  to  clear  away  around  them, 
and  to  give  them  a  whitewashing  every  year.  Mu- 
ley  Ibrahim  informed  me  that  a  large  town  called 
Rabeah,  whose  ruins  we  had  passed  in  mounting 
over  the  sand  hills,  was  a  flourishing  place  within 
his  remembrance ;  (probably  fifty  years  ago ;)  that 
he  himself  was  born  in  it — but  that  large  bodies  of 
sand  had  already  encroached  upon  its  northern  wall  : 
that  as  soon  as  it  was  overtopped,  it  fell  in,  and  the 
whole  city  was  filled  with  sand  in  the  course  of  one 
year  after,  and  its  inhabitants  forced  to  seek  a  new 
shelter.  These  drifts  extended,  as  far  as  we  could 
distinguish  sand,  on  our  riaiht. 

Having  got  past  the  high  heaps,  which  filled  a  space 
of  eight  or  ten  miles  in  width,  we  came  to  the  high 
banks  of  an  apparently  once  large  river,  now  called 


by  the  natives  el  Wod  Sta.  This  river's  ancient  bed, 
and  the  liigh  banks,  which  are  still  perfectly  distinct, 
bear  the  strongest  marks  of  having  been  once  laved 
by  a  stream  of  four  or  five  miles  in  breadth,  and 
nearly  one  hundred  feet  in  depth,  or  by  a  part  of 
the  ocean.  The  steep,  barren,  and  craggy  mountains, 
rising  before  us  to  the  eastward  and  southward, 
though  very  high,  appeared  to  serve  only  as  a  base 
to  the  mighty  range  of  Atlas,  whose  toweringjieight 
and  grandeur  filled  my  mind  with  awe  and  astonish- 
ment. Notwithstanding  my  frame  was  literally 
exhausted,  yet  my  imagination  transported  me  back 
to  a  time  when  this  region  might  have  been  inhabi- 
ted by  men  in  a  higher  state  of  civilization,  and 
when  it  was  probably  one  of  the  fairest  portions  of 
the  African  continent.  My  reasons  for  imagining 
this  are,  first,  that  it  is  well  known  by  historians, 
that  the  Romans  had  settlements  along  this  coast  as 
far  south  as  Salee  at  least,  and  no  doubt  much 
further.  Second,  that  the  Portuguese  and  Span- 
iards had  possessed  the  settlements  of  Mamora, 
Mazagan^  Asbedre,  Santa  Cruz,  &c.  Third,  by  the 
traditional  information  obtained  from  Rais  belCossim 
and  Sidi  Mohammed,  I  have  no  doubt  that  a  large 
city  and  settlement  of  civilized  men  existed  at  a  for- 
mer period  near  the  mouth  of  the  river  Schelem, 
from  sixty  to  one  hundred  miles  west  of  Santa  Cruz, 
and  I  am  firmly  of  opinion  that  the  convenience  of 
these  harbours,  the  luxuriancy  of  the  surrounding 
soil,  and  the  commercial  advantages  this  part  of  the 
country  offers,  were  a  sufficient  inducement  for 


We  had  now  approached  to  within  two  miles  of 
Santa  Cruz  or  Agader,  (the  lower  town  or  port) 
when  rising  an  eminence,  the  ocean  opened  to 
our  view  at  a  distance,  and  near-bj  appeared 
Santa  Cruz  bay,  which  was  then  quite  smooth. 
Nearly  one  hundred  good  looking  fishing  boats 
were  hauled  up  on  the  beach  out  of  the  reach  of 
the  surf,  and  numbers  of  Ions;  fishing;  nets  were 
spreads  out  to  dry  on  the  sand  and  over  the  boats. 
This  view  gave  a  most  favourable  idea  of  the  impor- 
tance of  this  bay  as  a  fishery. 

The  sun  had  not  yet  set,  and  Rais  informed  me 
lie  did  not  wish  to  enter  the  lower  town  till  dark, 
and  did  not  mean  to  go  nearer  the  fortress  than  he 
could  help,  for  fear  of  insult  and  detention;  so  we 
stopped  about  a  mile  short  of  it,  to  the  southward, 
where  I  iiad  an  opportunity  of  examining  this  bay 
"with  a  seaman's  eye. — It  is  spacious  and  perfectly 
well  defended  from  the  common  trade  v.inds,  say 
froiii  N.  N.  W.  all  round  the  compass  ;  by  the  East, 
and  as  far  as  S.  W.  thence  to  N.  N.  W.  it  is  entirely 
open,  and  of  course  is  a  very  dangerous  anchorage 
in  the  winter  months,  when  westerly  winds  prevail  on 
these  coasts,  at  which  times,  as  there  is  no  possibility 
of  o-elting  to  sea,  vessels  at  anchor  in  this  bay  must 
remain  where  they  are;  not  however  without  the 
rrreatest  risk  of  being  driven  on  shore  in  spite  of 
the  best  of  anchors  and  cables,  and  large  vessels 
must  ride  too  far  out  to  make  it  a  good  harbour  for 
them  at  any  season  of  the  year. — The  port  of 
Santa  Cruz,  or,  as  it  is  called  by  the  natives,  Jgader^ 
has  been  shut   by  order   of  the  Sultan  for  many 


years,'  yet  there  are  parts  of  the  Avrecks  of  vessels 
still  visible,  sticking  up  through  the  sand  on  the 

A  little  while  after  sunset  we  entered  the  lower 
town,  or  port,  as  it  is  called :  this  village  is  situa- 
ted on  the  steep  decHvity  of  the  mountain's  base, 
on  which  the  upper  town  is  built,  and  near  the  sea, 
which  washes  the  south  end  of  the  principal  street. 
The  steep  side  of  the  mountain  on  w'hich  this  village 
is  erected  has  been  apparently  sloped  down  by  art, 
so  as  to  make  it  practicable  to  build  on  it;  has  one 
principal  street  and  several  small  alleys  :  the  houses 
are  built  of  rough  stone  laid  in  lime  mortar,  and 
are  but  one  story  in  height,  with  flat  roofs  tenaced 
with  lime  and  pebbles.  We  could  see  the  tops  of 
many  houses  below  us,  and  the  whole  made  but  a 
miserable  appearance.  It  was  not  quite  dark  when 
we  entered  the  village.  The  street  was  soon  quite 
filled  with  Moors,  (men  and  boys,)  and  they  saluted 
us  by  spitting  on  us,  and  pelting  us  with  stones  and 
sticks,  accompanied  with  the  Spanish  words,  '•'■Carajo 
a  la  Mierda  le  Sara,  perro  y,  bestias,  and  many  other 
chosen  phrases  equally  delicate  and  polite;  but  some 
of  the  old  men  now  and  then  uttered  a  "  how  de  do, 
Christianos!"  in  broken  English  and  Spanish.  We 
were  conducted  through  the  street  to  its  further  ex- 
treraity  towards  the  north,  where  we  took  up  our 
quarters  for  the  night  in  the  open  air  alongside  a 
smith's  shop;  our  camels  and  asses  were  then  fed 
with  barley.  Some  of  the  inhabitants  kindled  a 
fire  for  our  company,  whilst  others  were  preparing 
a  rich  repast  for  them  of  boiled  and  baked  fish,  and 


cous-coo-soo,  of  which,  after  they  had  eaten,  they 
gave  us  the  remains,  and  we  found  it  excellent  food. 
Numbers  of  men,  driving  asses  before  them,  loaded 
with  fish,  had  passed  us  going  into  the  country  the 
day  before,  and  they  were  of  the  same  kind  as  those 
we  had  tasted  soon  after  our  entrance  into  Suse, 
and  we  had  also  seen  the  same  kind  of  fish  at  Stuka: 
th&y  carry  them  from  Santa  Cruz,  or  Agader,  about 
the  country  in  every  direction,  where  they  sell  them 
for  a  good  price,  being  much  in  request.  This  fish 
very  much  resembles  the  salmon  both  in  size,  shape, 
and  flavour;  weighing  (from  appearance)  from  eight 
to  sixteen  or  twenty  pounds;  and  is  extremely  fat  and 
delicate.  I  then  recollected  to  have  seen  in  my  se- 
veral voyages  to  the  Canary  Islands,  numbers  of 
small  vessels  arrive  from  the  coast  of  Africa  laden 
with  this  species  of  fish,  and  to  have  been  told  they 
were  caught  near  that  coast :  they  are  highly  es- 
teemed in  the  Canaries,  where  they  call  them  Baca- 
lao  Africano^  or  th^  African  cod-fish,  and  are  sold  at 
from  five  to  ten  dollars  per  quintal,  or  at  least  one- 
third  higher  than  the  best  of  American  cod-fish:  they 
are  dried,  without  salting,  on  the  vessels'  decks, 
and  their  scent  is  so  strong  as  to  nearly  suffocate 
the  crews  of  merchant  vessels  that  lie  near  them 
while  discharging.  I  have  been  told  that  no  less  than 
one  hundred  barks,  of  from  fifteen  to  fifty  tons  bur- 
den, are  continually  employed  in  this  fishery,  near 
the  African  coast  from  the  Canary  Islands,  and  that 
scarcely  a  year  passes  without  more  or  less  of  them 
being  driven  on  shore  by  tempests  or  other  acci- 
dents, when  the  crews  either  perish  with  the  vessel. 


@v  upon  their  reaching  the  shore,  are  massacred  by 
the  natives,  or  else  carried  off  into  the  interior  aR 
slaves,  where  they  are  never  after  heard  from. 
After  my  arrival  in  Mogadore,  or  Swearah,  I  was 
informed  that  the  crew  of  a  bark  of  this  description 
landed  imprudently  on  the  beach  not  far  from  Santa 
Cruz,  about  two  years  since,  where  they  were  sur- 
prised by  a  sudden  attack,  but  all  escaped  into  the 
boat  except  one  man,  who  was  seized  and  carried 
off.  On  the  return  of  the  bark  to  Teneriife,  the 
wife  of  the  man  who  had  been  left,  upon  inquiring 
for  her  husband,  was  informed  that  he  was  made  a 
slave :  distracted  by  this  shocking  event,  she  ran, 
raving  as  she  was,  to  the  archbishop,  and  begged  of 
him  either  to  take  her  life,  or  restore  to  her  arms 
her  lost  husband,  the  father  of  five  helpless  chil- 
dren :  she  was  poor,  but  her  case  excited  general 
pity — a  subscription  was  opened,  and  the  sum  of 
about  five  hundred  dollars  soon  raised.  The  arch- 
bishop in  the  meantime  wrote  to  Alexander  W. 
Court,  then  Spanish  agent  at  Mogadore,  to  ran- 
som  this  unfortunate  man,  which  he  effected  with 
much  difficulty ;  but  as  the  money  did  not  come  on  in 
time,  or  from  some  other  cause,  this  poor  Spaniard, 
whose  name  was  Fermin^  remained  in  Mogadore  for 
nearly  a  year  without  being  permitted  to  go  home, 
when  Mr.  William  Wiltshire  and  Don  Plabo  Riva,  of 
Mogadore,  and  Mr.  John  O'Sullivan,  of  New- 
York,  interfered  in  his  favour;  furnished  him  with 
clothing ;  procured  for  him  a  passage,  and  sent  him 
to  his  disconsolate  family.  This  is  said  to  be  the 
only  Spaniard  who  has  been  redeemed  in  that  part 
of  Barbary,  for  many  years  past. 




Shelck  All  oid-manceuvred  again  hy  Rais  bel  Cossini 
— they  set  off  in  the  night— meet  ivith  Sidi  Hamet 
ijind  his  brother,  acco?npanied  by  some  JMoors  with 
mules  sent  by  Mr.  Willshire  ybr  the  sufferers  to  ride 
on — occurrences  on  the  road — meeting with^\v.,Y^\\\' ^ 
shire  near  Swearah  or  JWogadore — they  go  into  that 
city- — are  ordered  before  the  Bashaiv — are  cleansed, 
clothed,  and  fed,  by  their  deliverer. 

After  supper  Rais  bel  Cossim  told  me  to  keep  a 
good  look  out ;  that  he  would  watch  the  motions  of 
Sheick  All,  who  he  still  feared  was  plotting  against 
our  liberty.  After  I  had  informed  my  enfeebled 
and  desponding  companions  that  we  were  now  out 
of  danger  from  the  Arabs,  (having  come  about  Miy 
miles  from  Stuka)  and  in  the  emperor  of  Morocco's 
dominions,  and,  consequently,  sure  of  being  liberated, 
and  that  too  in  a  very  few  days ;  and  after  telling 
them  that  we  must  bear  up  under  our  fatigues  with 
fortitude,  and  exert  our  remaining  strength  and  spi- 
rits, in  order  to  reach  Mogadore,  we  all  laid  our- 
selves down  to  rest,:  and  my  companions,  though 
they  had  the  bare  ground  for  their  bed,  yet  as  they 
were  wrapped  up  in  cloaks,  and  had  their  stomachs 
well  filled  with  good  and  nourishing  food,  soon  fell 
asleep.  As  for  myself,  fear,  hope,  and  various  other 
sensations,  kept  me  awake,  and  I  could  not  close  my 
eyes,  but  waited  with  extreme  anxiety  for  the  ap- 
pearance of  Rnis  bel  Cossim.     Soon  after  midnight 


Kais  came,  and  finding  me  awake,  he  roused  me  and 
the  owners  of  the  camels,  and  requested  them  to  get 
ready  to  go  on  speedily,  and  then  told  me  that  on 
entering  this  place,  while  he  was  busied  in  feeding 
his  mule,  Sheick  AH  had  stolen  off  privately  to  the 
town,  and  visited  the  governor,  who  had  agreed,  on 
his  representation,  to  take  us  into  custody  in  the 
morning  at  day-break,  and  assist  in  extorting  what 
money  the   Sheick  demanded ;  or  to  connive  at  our 
being  stolen  and  carried  back  by  Sheick  All's  men  to 
Suse.     "  I  have  learned  this  (said  he)  from  an  old 
friend  of  mine,  whom  I  met  and  commissioned  to 
watch  Sheick  All's  motions  when  we  were  coming 
into  this  place :  awaken  your  shipmates :  you  must ' 
depart  this  instant :  the  drivers  know  the  road ;  it  is 
very  rocky :  you  must  tell  your  men  to  hold  on  as 
tight  as  possible;  and  remember,  if  you  are  four 
leagues  from  this  town  before  daylight,  your  liberty 
is  secured,  if  not,  you  will  be  again  the  most  mise- 
rable of  slaves.     Encourage  your  men  to  use  their 
utmost  exertions,  and  I  hope,  with  God's  blessing,  in 
three  days  more  you  will  be  in  Swearah  with  your 
friend.     I  will  join  you  as  soon  as  possible."     The 
camels  were  by  this  time  ready :  we  were  placed  on 
them,  and  proceeded  up  the  rocky  steeps  as  fast  as 
possible,  but  with  the  most  profound  silence.     Sleep 
seemed  to  have  literally  sealed  the  eyes  of  all  the 
Moors  in  the  lower  town,  and  in  the  batteries  near 
the  path  through  which  we  passed ;  these  batteries 
rose    one  above   another   like  an  amphitheatre  to- 
wards the  fortress.       The  quadrangular  walls    of 
the  town  and  fortress  of  Santa  Cruz,  or  Agader, 

N  n 


crowned  the  summit  of  this  mountain,  on  our  right* 
and  stand,  from  appearance,  not  less  than  fifteen  hun- 
dred feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea.  We  went  fast 
forward,  in  profound  silence,  which  was  not  in  the 
least  disturbed  by  the  tread  of  the  camels,  because 
their  feet  are  as  soft  as  sponge  or  leather :  only  the 
hoarse  roaring  of  the  surf  breaking  among  the  rocks 
below  us,  startled  the  ear,  and  excited  in  my  mind 
frightful  images  of  direful  shipwrecks,  and  the  con- 
sequent miseries  of  the  poor  mariner  driven  on  this 
inhospitable  coast. 

We  had  been  hurrying  on  as  fast  as  possible  for 
about  two  hours,  and  had  gained  the  distance  of 
probably  three  leagues  from  Santa  Cruz,  when  our 
ears  were  struck  with  the  clinking  sound  of  iron 
against  the  stones,  which  announced  the  approach  of 
horses  or  mules  that  were  shod;  and  in  an  instant, 
though  dark,  we  discovei'ed  close  by  us  on  our  right 
a  considerable  number  of  men  riding  on  mules,  and 
passing  the  other  way.  Not  a  word  was  uttered  on 
either  side,  nor  could  tlie  faces  of  any  be  distin- 
guished, though  we  were  not  more  than  three  or 
four  yards  asunder.  A  thought  darting  across  my 
mind,  suggested  to  me  that  it  was  my  old  master: 
I  instantly  called  out  Sidi  Hcmiet !  and  was  quickly 
answered — ascoon  Riley?  (who  is  it,  Riley?)  the 
whole  company  stopped  in  an  instant;  and  the  next 
moment  I  had  the  joy  of  kissing  the  hand  of  my  old 
master  and  benelactor.  Sidi  Mohammed,  Seid,  and 
Bo-Mohammed,  were  in  his  company,  together  with 
three  or  four  Moors,  whom  our  kind  friend  had  sent 
down,  charged  with  the  money  and  mules  for  our 


ransom  and  conveyance.  The  principal  Moor,  and 
who  had  charge  of  the  money  until  we  were  deh- 
vered  over  according  to  the  wish  of  Sidi  Hamet, 
spoke  Spanish  fluently:  he  wanted  to  inquire  of  me 
where  Rais  bel  Cossim  was:  I  told  him  at  Santa 
Cruz  :  Sidi  Hamet  wished  to  question  me  himself, 
and  asked  me  "  where  is  Sheick  Ali  ?"  and  when  I 
informed  him  that  I  had  left  him  in  Santa  Cruz,  in 
company  with  Rais  bel  Cossim  and  Muley  Ibrahim, 
he  was  satisfied ;  and  said  Sheick  Ali  was  a  bad  man, 
and  did  not  fear  God.  Seid  also  pretended  to  be 
much  rejoiced  at  our  being  on  the  road  to  Mogadore, 
and  yet  I  thought  I  could  discover  that  he  was  try- 
ing to  play  a  deep  game  of  artful  duplicity:  but  old 
Sidi  Mohammed  was  in  truth  ro^oiced  to  find  us  in 
the  emperor's  dominions.  Having  now  been  abso- 
lutely delivered  over  to  Bel  Mooden^  the  Moor  who 
had  charge  of  the  money,  he  paid  it  over  to  Sidi 
Hamet,  and  three  of  us  were  mounted  on  mules, 
and  proceeded  on,  while  all  those  whom  we  met, 
Avent  towards  Santa  Cruz,  except  the  three  Moors 
who  owned  and  brought  the  mules  down  for  us  to 
ride  on,  and  who  remained  and  proceeded  northward 
with  us. 

All  the  time  we  had  stopped  to  make  the  neces- 
sary arrangements  above  mentioned,  the  owners  of 
the  camels  were  urging  us  to  go  forward,  thereby 
showing  a  disposition  to  obey  the  orders  of  Rais 
bel  Cossim,  and  would  not  for  a  long  time  believe 
that  those  who  stopped  us  were  not  our  enemies. 
The  backs  of  the  mules  were  covered  with  large 
saddles  made  of  coarse  cloth,  stuffed  with   straw, 


and  formed  very  broad,  so  as  to  fit  their  shape,  and 
reached  almost  from  their  heads  to  their  tails  :  this 
kind  of  saddle  is  too  broad  for  a  man  to  attempt  to 
stride.  Over  the  saddles  were  placed  what  the 
Moors  and  Arabs  call  a  shwerry,  which  is  made  like 
a  double  basket,  and  formed  of  palm  leaves  woven 
together  like  mat  work :  each  of  these  baskets  might 
contain  about  two  bushels  t  they  are  attached  toge- 
ther by  a  mat  woven  in  with  and  like  the  rest,  of 
about  a  foot  and  a  half  in  width,  sufficiently  strong 
to  bear  a  burden,  and  long  enough  to  let  them  hang 
down  easily  on  the  sides  of  the  mules :  the  outer 
part  of  this  shwerry  is  held  up  by  means  of  a  rope 
passing  through  the  handle  on  one  side,  and  tied  to 
that  on  the  other,  passing  over  the  mule's  back.  In 
this  shwerry,  they  carry  their  provisions,  merchan- 
dise, and  spare  clothing,  (if  any  they  have)  when  on 
their  journeys.  The  rider  sits  on  the  saddle  above 
the  shwerry,  with  both  legs  on  one  side,  balancing 
his  body  exactly,  and  rides  extremely  easy,  as  he 
can  shift  his  position  at  pleasure,  and  the  mule's  gait 
is  an  easy,  fast  ambhng  walk,  which  they  are  taught 
when  very  young ;  their  motion  is  very  slight,  and 
was  a  seasonable  relief  to  our  almost  dislocated 
limbs :  the  change,  with  respect  to  jolting,  was  so 
ereat  from  the  camel  to  the  mule,  that  we  could  not 
keep  our  eyes  open  from  mere  drowsiness,  and 
Burns  getting  asleep,  dropped  oif  his  mule,  and  was 
so  badly  hurt  as  to  be  from  that  time  incapable  of 
supporting  himself;  so  that  a  Moor  was  obhged  to 
sit  before  or  behind  him,  and  keep  him  on,  driving 


the  mule  at  the  same  time :  and  this  was  continued 
during  the  remainder  of  our  journey. 

We  had  proceeded  in  this  way  until  about  ten 
o'clock,  when  we  were  joined  by  Rais  bel  Cossim, 
Sidi  Hamet,  Seid,  Sidi  Mohammed,  and  Bel  Moo- 
den.  I  now  inquired  of  Rais  what  had  become  of 
Muley  Ibrahim  and  Sheick  Ali,  with  their  attend- 
ants, and  he  told  me  they  had  set  out  for  their  re- 
spective homes.  I  wanted  to  know  all  the  particu- 
lars of  their  proceedings,  and  Rais  promised  to 
satisfy  me  after  breakfast,  which  we  now  stopped  to 
eat,  (viz.  biscuit  and  butter)  near  a  well  that  afford- 
ed us  good  water,  though  nearly  on  a  level  with  the 
sea.  After  we  were  again  mounted,  he  began  to 
relate  as  follows.  "When  my  friend  told  me  of 
Sheick  Ali's  plan,  I  stole  away  softly,  and  came  and 
sent  you  off  without  the  Sheick's  knowledge ;  but 
Muley  Ibrahim  was  in  the  secret,  and  remained  with 
the  Sheick  to  prevent  alarm  if  he  should  awake 
during  my  absence."  Rais  bel  Cossim  further  told 
me  in  substance,  that  as  soon  as  we  were  on  our 
journey,  he  returned  and  laid  himself  down  to  sleep 
across  the  door-way,  where  Sheick  Ali  slept,  and  in 
such  a  manner  as  to  make  it  impossible  for  the  She- 
ick to  go  out  without  alarming  him;  the  Sheick 
awoke  at  the  dawn  of  day,  and  finding  himself 
blockaded  in  the  house,  awakened  Rais,  and  told 
him  that  they  had  better  wait  on  the  governor  this 
morning,  to  which  Rais  consented,  but  wanted  to 
see  the  slaves  first,  so  as  to  have  some  coffee  madci 
this  was  agreed  on ;  but  when  they  came  where  wc 
had  slept,  and  found  none  of  us  there,  nor  the  camels, 


nor  their  drivers,  Rais  broke  out  into  the  most  vio- 
lent passion  apparently;  accused  the  Sheick  of 
having  robbed  him  of  his  slaves  during  the  night, 
and  said  lie  vs^ould  instantly  have  him  seized  and  de- 
Hvered  up  to  the  governor  to  be  punished  according 
to  the  Moorish  law.  Muley  Ibrahim,  who  knew  the 
whole  affair,  joined  with  Rais,  protesting  he  could 
no  lono-er  hold  friendship  with  a  man  who  was  ca- 
pable of  committing  such  an  act,  which  he  consi- 
dered to  be  one  of  the  worst  breaches  of  faith  that 
ever  disgraced  a  man  of  his  (the  Sheick's)  high  cha- 
racter. Sheick  All  was  thunderstruck  by  this  unex- 
pected event — declared,  in  the  most  solemn  manner, 
that  he  knew  nothing  about  our  escape,  begged  he 
might  not  be  dehvered  up  to  the  governor;  acknow- 
ledged he  had  laid  a  plan  the  preceding  evening  for 
our  detention;  wished  Rais  to  leave  the  governor  a 
small  present,  and  proceed  on  the  road  towards 
Mogadore  in  the  hope  of  finding  us, -Saying,  we  must 
have  gone  that  way,  as  the  gates  were  shut  on  the 
other  side,  and  there  was  no  possibility  of  turning 
back  by  any  other  route.  The  Sheick  added,  "  I 
am  in  your  power,  and  will  go  on  with  you  and  my 
friend  Muley  Ibrahim,  without  any  attendants,  to 
prove  to  you  that  I  am  innocent,  and  that  I  place 
the  greatest  confidence  in  your  friendship."  Thus 
they  agreed  to  pursue  and  endeavour  to  overtake  the 
supposed  runaway  slaves ;  but  soon  after  they  had 
mounted  the  hills  north  of  Santa  Cruz,  meeting  our 
former  masters,  with  Bel  Mooden  and  Sidi  Moham- 
med, who  had  seen  us,  (as  I  before  mentioned)  they 
stopped  and  talked  over  their  several  affairs.     She- 


ick  All  insisted  that  Sidi  Hamet  had  treated  him 
very  ill :  that  he  and  Seid  owed  him  four  hundred 
dollars,  which  they  were  to  pay  him  on  their  return 
from  the  desart,  but  that  they  had  passed  by  his 
lands  three  days'  journey  with  their  slaves,  without 
even  calling  on  him  to  eat  bread :  he  added,  he 
would  have  gone  with  them  himself,  and  with  an 
armed  force  through  Sidi  Ishem's  country,  to  prevent 
that  chief  from  taking  their  property — '•  but  you 
wished  to  cheat  me  of  my  money,  as  you  did  of 
my  daughter,"  said  he,  addressing  himself  to  Sidi 
Hamet.  Sidi  Hamet,  whose  voice  had  been  very 
high  before,  now  lowering  his  tone,  said,  it  was  bet- 
ter to  settle  their  disputes  than  to  quarrel;  so  he 
acknowledged  he  owed  his  father-in-law  three  hun- 
dred and  sixty  dollars  for  goods,  but  asserted  that 
they  were  not  worth  half  the  money :  he  would, 
however,  pay  the  principal,  but  no  interest,  which 
would  have  swcilcd  the  amount  of  debt  to  more  than 
five  hunSred  dollars ;  the  Sheick  agreed  to  take  the 
principal,  which  was  counted  out  in  silver,  as  he 
would  not  take  gold  doubloons  in  payment,  be- 
cause he  did  not  know  their  real  value.  Pie  then 
delivered  up  Sidi  Hamet's  bond,  and  said  he  would 
return  to  his  tribe.  Rais  bel  Cossim  gave  Muley 
Ibrahim  a  present  in  cash,  and  they  separated,  having 
first  vowed  everlasting  friendship,  and  joined  in 
prayer  for  the  success  of  their  several  journeys. 

Our  company  now  consisted  of  Rais  bel  Cossim, 
Bel  Mooden,  Sidi  Hamet,  Seid,  Sidi  Mohammed, 
and  three  Muleteers,  all  armed  with  muskets,  swords, 
or  daggers — the  five  Bereberies  with  their  camels, 


Avho  had  brought  us  on  from  Stuka,  and  myseU'  and 
four  shipmates.  We  proceeded  along  the  coast, 
sometimes  on  a  sand  beach,  now  climbing  an  almost 
perpendicular  mountain  of  great  height  bj  a  wind- 
ing kind  of  zigzag  road  that  seemed  to  have  been 
cut  in  the  rock  in  many  places,  by  art;  then  descend- 
ing into  deep  valleys  by  this  kind  of  natural  steps; 
the  rocks  on  our  right  for  a  great  distance,  rising 
nearly  perpendicularly.  The  path  we  were  now 
obliged  to  follow,  was  not  more  than  two  feet  wide 
in  one  place,  and  on  our  left  it  broke  off  in  a  preci- 
pice of  some  hundred  feet  deep  to  the  sea — the 
smallest  slip  of  the  mule  or  camel  would  have 
plunged  it  and  its  rider  down  the  rocks  to  inevitable 
and  instant  death,  as  there  was  no  bush  or  other 
thing  to  lay  hold  of  by  which  a  man  might  save  his 
life.  Very  fortunately  for  us,  there  had  been  no 
rain  for  a  considerable  time  previous,  so  that  the 
road  was  now  dry.  Rais  told  me,  when  it  was  wet 
it  w^as  never  attempted,  and  that  many  fatal  acci- 
dents had  happened  there  within  his  remembrance ; 
though  there  was  another  road  which  led  round  over 
the  mountains  far  within  the  country. 

One  of  these  accidents  he  said  he  would  mention. 
"  A  company  of  Jews,  six  in  number,  from  Santa 
Cruz  for  Morocco,  came  to  this  place  with  their 
loaded  mules  in  the  twihght,  after  sunset;  being 
very  anxious  to  get  past  it  before  dark,  and  supposing 
no  other  travellers  would  venture  to  meet  them,  or 
dare  to  pass  it  in  the  night,  they  did  not  take  the  pre- 
caution to  look  out,  and  call  aloud  before  they  en- 
tered on  it ;  for  there  is  a  place  built  out  on  each 


t^iid  oi"  this  dangerous  piece  of  road,  from  whence 
one  may  see  if  there  are  others  on  it :  not  being 
quite  half  a  mile  in  length,  a  person  by  hallooing 
out  can  be  heard  from  one  end  to  the  other,  and  it 
is  the  practice  of  all  who  go  that  way,  to  give  this 
signal.  A  company  of  Moors  had  entered  at  the 
other  end,  and  going  towards  Santa  Cruz  at  the 
same  time,  and  they  also  supposing  that  no  others 
would  dare  to  pass  it  at  that  hour,  came  on  without 
the  usual  precaution.  About  half  way  over,  and  in 
the  most  difficult  place,  the  two  parties  met — there 
was  no  possibility  of  passing  each  other,  nor  of 
turning  about  to  go  back  either  way — the  Moors 
were  mounted  as  well  as  the  Jews — neither  party 
could  retire,  nor  could  any  one,  except  the  foremost, 
get  off  of  his  mule:  the  Moors  soon  became  outrageous, 
and  threatened  to  throw  the  Jews  down  headlong — 
the  Jews,  though  they  had  always  been  treated  like 
slaves,  and  forced  to  submit  to  every  insult  and  in- 
dignity, yet  finding  themselves  in  this  perilous  situa- 
tion, without  the  possibility  of  retiring,  and  being 
unwilling  to  break  their  necks  merely  to  accommo- 
date the  Moors,  the  foremost  Jew  dismounted  qare- 
fully  over  the  head  of  his  mule,  with  a  stout  stick  in 
his  hand :  the  Moor  nearest  him  did  the  same,  and 
came  forward  to  attack  him  with  his  scimitar:  both 
were  fighting  for  their  lives,  as  neither  could  re- 
treat— the  Jew's  mule  was  first  pitched  down  the 
craggy  steep,  and  dashed  to  atoms  by  the  fall — the 
Jew's  stick  was  next  hacked  to  pieces  by  the  scimi- 
tar; when  finding  it  was  impossible  for  him  to  save 
his  life,  he  seized  the  Moor  in  his  arms,  and  spring- 

o  o 


ing  off  the  precipice,  both  were  instantly  hurled  to 
destruction — two  more  of  the  Jews  and  one  Moor 
lost  their  lives  in  the  same  way,  together  with  eight 
mules,  and  the  three  .Tews,  who  made  out  to  escape, 
were  hunted  down  and  killed  by  the  relations  of  the 
Moors  who  had  lost  their  lives  on  the  pass,  and  the 
place  has  ever  since  been  called  "  the  Jews'  leap." 
It  is,  indeed,  enough  to  produce  dizziness,  even  in 
the  head  of  a  sailor,  and  if  I  had  been  told  the  story 
before  getting  on  this  frightful  ridge,  I  am  not  cer- 
tain but  that  my  imagination  might  have  disturbed 
my  faculties,  and  rendered  me  incapable  of  pro- 
ceeding with  safety  along  this  perilous  path.  The 
danger  over,  however,  and  the  story  finished,  we 
found  ourselves  mounting-  the  first  bank  from  the  sea 
on  Cape  Geer.  When  we  came  on  the  height,  at 
the  pitch  of  the  Cape,  I  rode  up  to  the  edge  of  the 
precipice  to  look  down  upon  the  tumultuous  ocean. 
The  present  Cape  is  about  one  hundred  feet  in  height, 
and  appeared  to  have  been  much  shattered  and  rent 
by  the  waves  and  tempests :  huge  masses  of  rocks 
had  been  undermined,  broken  off,  and  tumbled 
down  one  upon  another,  forming  very  wild  and  dis- 
orderly heaps  in  the  water  all  around  it.  I  could 
not  help  shuddering  at  the  sioht  and  sound  of  the 
surf  as  it  came  thundering  on,  and  burst  against  the 
trembhng  sides  of  this  rocky  Cape,  which  is  about  a 
mile  in  length,  and  is  already  undermined  in  such  a 
manner,  that  the  whole  road  along  which  we  passed 
will  very  probably  soon  tumble  down  among  the  as- 
saiHn<r  billows.  On  our  right,  the  land  rose  gradu- 
ally like   an  inclined  plane,  and  was  covered  witk 


pebbles  and  other  round  smooth  stones  that  Tyb% 
strong  marks  of  having  been  tossed  about  and'  \v6Vti 
by  the  surf  on  a  sea  beach :  it  rose  thus  for  ^btiiit 
two  miles,  when  it  was  interrupted  by  joerpendicul'^T 
and  overhanging  cliffs  of  craggy  and  broken  tbcks 
three  or  four  hundred  feet  in  height :  these  rock's 
and  the  whole  face  of  the  upper  Cape  bore  as  strong 
marks  of  having  once  been  washed  and  beat  upon 
by  the  ocean,  as  did  the  cliff  below  us,  against  which 
it  was  now  dashing  with  dreadful  violence.  Along 
most  parts  of  the  inclined  plane,  and  particularly 
near  the  upper  cliff,  were  large  mounts  of  loose  sand 
in  form  of  snow  drifts.  This  sand  was  now  flying 
up  from  the  beach  below,  being  blown  out  from 
among  the  rocks  by  the  strong  trade  winds  at  every 
low  tide,  and  almost  as  soon  as  the  dashings  of  the 
waves  among  them  had  prepared  it :  this  sand, 
and  in  tact  all  we  had  seen  since  we  came  to  the  cul- 
tivated country,  was  the  same  in  appearance  as  that 
which  we  saw  and  passed  through  on  the  desart,  and 
must  have  been  produced  and  heaped  up  by  the 
same  causes.  After  passing  the  Cape,  about  one 
hour's  ride,  we  came  to  the  high  bank  of  a  river,  and 
descending  to  its  left  shore,  we  found  its  moiith  wa^ 
tilled  up  with  sand  that  had  been  washed  in  by  the 
sea,  though  the  river  was  about  half  a  mile  wide  at 
its  end,  and  appeared  quite  deep — here  we  stopped^ 
to  take  some  food,  namely,  biscuit  and  but^e^iv,"'<^'''^^f 
Bel  Mooden  had  also  brought  some  dried  figJsi' 
dates,  and  nuts.  Having  finished  our  repast,  Wi? 
were  again  placed  on  our  beasts,  and  proceeded' 
round  the  mouth  of  the   river  on   a  san^j'beach< 



about  one  hundred  yards  wide,  and  twenty  feet 
above  the  level  of  the  fresh  water  within,  and 
thirty  feet  above  the  sea  water  on  the  beach,  at  high 
tide.  Our  guides  informed  me  that  this  river  was 
called  "  el  wod  Tenshai''  that  it  had  formerly  been  a 
very  wide  and  deep  one,  and  used  to  empty  itself 
into  the  sea :  that  in  the  rainy  season  it  was  impos- 
sible to  pass  it  without  going  twenty  miles  up  the 
country;  but  for  the  last  few  years  there  had  not 
been  rain  enough  in  this  part  of  the  country  to  force 
open  its  mouth. 

Having  left  the  margin  of  the  river,  we  entered 
on  a  plain,  and  struck  off  to  our  right  in  a  direction 
nearly  east,  and  we  went  forward  as  fast  as  possible 
towards  the  high  land.  We  had  passed  many  sane-  I 
tuaries,  but  had  not  observed  a  single  dwelling 
house,  nor  even  a  tent,  since  we  left  Santa  Cruz. 
We  now  beheld  several  square  walled  places,  which 
answer  the  double  purpose  of  dwelling  house  and 
castle,  crowning  the  top  of  the  high  mountain, 
which  appeared  very  dry  and  sterile,  mostly  com- 
posed  of  layers  of  huge  rocks  and  very  steep,  with 
a  few  dry  shrubs  scattered  thinly  about  the  crevices 
and  small  flat  spots  or  spaces.  Approaching  the 
foot  of  the  mountain,  we  came  to  a  very  deep  hol- 
low, apparently  formed  by  the  washings  of  a  small 
stream  of  water,  assisted  by  rains  that  have  poured 
through  it  from  time  immemorial.  Our  way  wound 
up  through  this  steep  hollow,  and  alongside  of  the 
little  brook  before  mentioned.  As  we  entered  it, 
the  eye  was  delighted  with  the  beauty  of  the  scene. 
The  bottom  of  the  hollow  had  been  made  level  by 


art,  and  was  covered  from  its  base  with  gardens, 
which  rose  one  above  another  in  the  form  of  an 
amphitheatre :  they  were  kept  up  to  a  level  by 
means  of  solid  stone  walls  laid  in  lime,  and  had 
been  filled  in  with  rich  soil:  the  longest  was  not 
greater  in  extent  than  twenty  yards  by  ten:  the 
sides  of  the  hollow  were  so  steep,  that  the  upright 
walls  were  not  less  than  ten  or  fifteen  feet  in 
heiijjht  between  each  garden :  they  were  well 
stocked  with  most  kinds  of  vegetables  cultivated  in 
kitchen  gardens,  and  with  melons:  gutters  were  cu- 
riously disposed  around  these  gardens  to  convey 
water  to  every  part,  at  the  pleasure  of  the  proprie- 
tor: they  had  growing  on  their  sides  an  abundance 
of  fig  and  date  trees,  and  grape  vines  running  up  the 
sides  of  the  rocks ;  and  a  little  higher  up,  hundreds 
of  the  dwarf  Arga  tree,  whose  yellow  fruit  contri- 
buted to  enliven  the  prospect.  We  were  at  least 
two  hours  in  gaining  the  summit,  when  it  had  become 
dark,  and  we  had  to  pass  down  the  mountain  on  its 
east  side  through  another  hollow,  though  not  a  fer- 
tile one;  fojt'  here  was  no  running  water.  The  nar- 
row path  we  travelled  in,  had  been  worn  into  the 
limestone  rock,  by  the  feet  of  mules  and  horses  that 
had  passed  along  it,  no  doubt  during  the  course  of 
many  centuries ;  and  assisted  by  the  rain  water 
streaming  through  it  from  above,  it  was  in  some 
places  channelled  out  to  the  depth  of  ten  or  fifteen 
feet,  and  just  wide  enough  for  a  camel  or  mule  to 
pass.  In  one  place  it  became  necessary,  for  the  want 
of  sufficient  room  to  get  through,  to  take  the  lading 
from  the  mules  and  carry  it  down  by  hand.      After 


descending  about  three  hours  we  came  to  a  plain, 
and  kept  on  in  an  eastern  direction  until  about  rald- 
night  ;  when  we  approached  the  walls  of  a  small 
city,  or  dwelhng-place,  arid  took  up  our  lodg;ing£ 
near  it  on  the  flat  top  of  a  long  cistern,  which  afford- 
ed plenty  of  water.  The  chief  men  of  the  city, 
alarmed  by  the  barking  of  their  dogs,  soon  came 
out  and  welcomed  their  visitors  by  the  well  known 
Arabic  salutation,  "  Salerno  Alikom^  Labez^  &c. 

They  furnished   our   company   with  a   supper  of 
coos-coo-soo,  while   I  and  my  men   ate   some   dates 
and  dry  figs.     The  night  was   damp   and  cold,  and 
this,  with  my  fatigues,  rendered  it  impossible  for  me 
to   sleep.      We  stayed  here  for  about  three  hours, 
when   daylight  appearing,  (October  the  sixth)  we 
were  again  mounted  and  proceeded  on  our  journey. 
My  companions,  as  well  as  myself,  were  so   weak, 
being  really  worn  out,   and  completely  exhausted, 
that  it  was  with  the   greatest  difficulty  they  could 
be  supported  on  the  mules.     As  daylight  increased, 
we  saw  a  number  of  towns  or  dwellings  handsomely 
enclosed  with  hio;h  walls  of   stone,  cemented    with 
lime:  the    land    on    the  plain  was  divided  olf  and 
fenced  in  with  rough  stone  walls  made  with  great  la- 
bour: numerous  flocks  of  goats  were  feeding  on  the  oil 
mut :  some  herds  of  cattle,  with  a  few   old  horses, 
asses,  and  camels,  were  nibbling  off"  the  green  leaves 
and  branches  of  small  shrubs,  for  the  want  of  grass : 
we  also  saw  many  regularly    planted    orchards   of 
fig  trees  ;  and  the  land  was  in  many  places  ploughed 
and  ready  to  receive  the  seed  barley  so  soon  as  rain 
should  fall  sufficient  to  ensure  its  vegetation. 


We  went  forward  to  the  north-eastward,  and  on 
rising  a  hill,  we  saw  two  mountains  before  us  to  the 
north,  over  which  I  was  informed  we  must  pass  : 
the  farthest  one  north  appeared  to  be  twenty  miles 
distant.  We  soon  began  to  cHmb  the  nearest,  and 
when  we  reached  its  summit,  looking  to  the  east, 
the  Atlas  was  fairly  in  view,  and  all  its  lofty  peaks 
covered  with  snow.  Descending  this  mountain,  we 
met  large  droves  of  camels,  mules,  and  asses,  laden 
with  salt  and  other  merchandise,  and  driven  by  a 
considerable  number  of  Moors  and  Arabs:  the 
Moors  were  easily  distinguished  by  their  dress  : 
they  had  each,  besides  his  haick,  a  caftan  or  close 
jacket  next  his  skin,  and  the  most  of  them  had  tur- 
bans on  their  heads :  they  were  armed  with  daggers, 
or  scimitars,  suspended  from  their  necks  by  a  cord  of 
red  woollen  yarn  thrown  over  the  left  shoulder: 
the  scabbards  were  such  as  I  have  before  described — 
the  daofffer  is  worn  outside  of  the  haick :  its  han- 
die  is  made  of  wood  handsomely  wrought :  the 
point  of  the  dagger  hooks  inward  like  a  pruning 
knife :  when  they  have  occasion  to  use  it,  they  seize 
it  with  their  right  hand,  the  lower  side  of  the  band 
being  next  to  the  blade,  and  strike  after  raising  it 
above  their  heads,  ripping  open  their  adversary: 
they  never  attempt  to  parry  a  stroke  with  their 

The  valliey  between  these  two  mountains  had 
been  well  cultivated,  and  would  be  very  productive 
with  seasonable  rains,  but  at  this  time  those  dread- 
ful scourges,  severe  droughts,  and  myriads  of  locusts, 
had  destroyed  almost  every  green  thing :    even  the 

^288  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

leaves  of  the  trees  and  shrubs  had  not  escaped  theif 
devastations.  I  was  informed  by  Rais  bel  Cossim 
that  we  were  now  in  the  province  of  Hah  hah,  and 
that  the  locusts  had  utterly  laid  waste  the  country 
for  the  last  six  years,  so  that  the  land  now  groaned 
under  a  most  grievous  famine;  nor  could  our  company 
procure  any  barley  or  ether  food  ibr  their  beasts. 
This  province  must  be  naturally  a  very  strong  mili- 
tary country;  it  is  very  mountainous,  and  rendered 
almost  inaccessible  by  the  craggy  steeps  and  narrow 
roads,  or  defiles,  through  which  an  army  would  be 
under  the  necessity  of  marching.  The  cities,  or 
rather  castles,  in  which  the  inhabitants  reside,  are 
built  strong  with  stone  and  lime,  and  are  fifteen  or 
twenty  feet  in  height,  generally  of  a  quadrangular 
form  of  from  fifty  to  two  hundred  yards  square,  and 
the  tops  crowned  with  turrets :  within  these  walls 
all  the  flocks  and  herds  are  driven  every  night 
for  safe  keeping.  All  the  men  in  these  parts  are 
well  armed  vnth  long  Moorish  muskets,  and  with 
sabres,  or  daggers,  by  their  sides  :  there  are  no  Arabs 
dwellirl^  in  this  part  of  the  country,  as  they  always 
live  in  tents,  and  will  not  be  confined  within  walls ; 
nor  had  we  seen  a  tent  since  our  arrival  at  the  dwel- 
ling of  Sidi  Mohammed. 

The  valley  now  spread  out  to  the  right,  and 
might  be  termed  a  considerably  extensive  plain,  on 
which  but  few  castles  or  dwellings  appeared,  and 
we  saw  no  river  or  stream  of  Avater,  though  there 
were  high  mountains  on  both  sides.  The  little  her- 
bage that  had  sprung  up,  in  consequence  of  the  re- 
cent rains,    was    destroyed    bv  the   locusts,   which 


were  to  be  seen  thinly  scattered  over  the  ground,  and 
rose  in  considerable  numbers  on  our  approach ;  skip- 
ping like  grasshoppers.  Rais  bel  Cossim  informed  me 
that  the  flights  of  locusts,  from  which  these  few  had 
strayed,  had  gone  to  some  hitherto  more  favoured  part 
of  the  country  to  continue  their  ravages. 

While  we  were  tranquilly  travelling  along,  I 
asked  Rais  in  what  manner  the  oil  was  extracted 
from  the  nuts  that  grew  in  such  quantities  on  the 
Arga  tree,  which  entirely  covered  the  sides  of  the 
hills.  He  told  me  that  in  the  country  these  nuts 
were  swallowed  by  the  goats,  (and  in  fact  we  saw 
these  animals  picking  them  up  under  the  trees;)  that 
the  nut  passes  through,after  being  deprived  of  its  bark, 
which  though  very  bitter,  was  highly  relished  by  the 
goats,  and  when  voided,  the  women  and  children, 
who  tend  them,  pick  up  the  nuts  and  put  them  into  a 
bag,  slung  about  them  for  the  purpose,  and  carry 
them  home,  where  they  crack  them  between  stones, 
get  out  the  kernel,  and  expressing  the  oily  juice  from 
them,  they  boil  it  down  in  ajar,  until  it  becomes  of  a 
proper  consistence,  when  it  is  poured  off,  and  is 
fit  for  use.  The  appearance  of  this  fruit  growing 
thickly  on  the  trees,  different  in  size,  and  variegate.d 
in  colour  from  green  to  red,  and  from  that  to  bright 
•yellow,  had  a  pleasing  effect :  the  ground  beneath 
the  trees  was  also  covered  with  them. 

Having  come  to  the  foot  of  the  high  mountain,  we 
ascended  it,  winding  up  its  steep  side  in  a  zigzag 
path,  very  difficult  of  ascent,  and  indeed  almost  im- 
practicable. On  our  left  was  a  deep  gully,  with  a 
considerable  stream  of  water  running  down  through 



it,  like  a  small  mill-stream:  it  poured  over  the  pre- 
cipices, making  a  loud  roaring,  that  might  be  heard 
at  a  great  distance ;  though  the  whole  stream  seemed 
to  lose  itself  entirely  in  the  sand  before  it  reached 
the  bottom  of  the  mountain.  The  sides  of  this 
guUj  were  shaded  by  the  Arga  and  bean  tree,  and 
many  other  bushes,  and  near  the  water  I  discovered 
a  few  yew  or  hemlock  bushes,  that  reminded  me  of 
scenes  I  had  been  familiar  with  in  my  own  country. 
As  we  rode  near  the  top  of  the  mountain,  this  gully 
assumed  the  appearance  of  a  rich  valley,  filled  with 
gardens  one  above  another,  supported  by  strong 
stone  walls  in  the  same  manner  as  those  I  have 
already  described,  though  much  larger,  and  they 
were  apparently  well  watered  by  the  stream  that 
was  carried  around  them  in  gutters  fitted  expressly 
for  that  purpose.  These  gardens  looked  as  if  they 
were  well  cultivated,  and  stored  with  vegetables, 
and  numbers  of  men  and  boys  were  at  work  tilling 
and  dressing  them. 

On  the  highest  part  of  the  mountain  that  we 
reached,  I  was  much  surprised  to  find  a  considerable 
plain  spot,  nearly  covered  with  stacks  of  salt,  which 
stood  very  thick,  and  must,  I  think,  have  amounted  to 
several  hundreds.  To  see  marine  salt  in  such 
quantities  on  the  top  of  a  mountain,  which  I  computed 
to  stand  at  least  fifteen  hundred  feet  above  the  sur- 
face of  the  ocean,  excited  my  wonder  and  curiosity ; 
but  we  stopped  short  of  them,  for  the  camels  we 
had  started  with  from  Stuka,  were  to  carry  loads  of 
this  salt  back ;  so  that  after  Rais  had  paid  the  own- 
ers of  them  for  their  trouble  and  assistance,  thev 


went  towards  the  salt  heaps,  wishing  us  a  prosperous 
journej.  While  we  were  stopped  to  settle  with 
them,  we  were  taken  from  the  mules  and  seated  on 
the  ground,  when  many  of  the  inhabitants  came  near 
to  have  a  look  at  us,  Christian  slaves.  They  brought 
with  them  a  few  raw  turnips,  which  they  distributed 
among  us :  they  were  the  sweetest  I  had  ever  tasted, 
and  very  refreshing.  We  were  soon  placed  upon 
the  mules  again,  and  I  rode  a  little  to  the  left,  in  or- 
der to  find  out  in  what  way  this  great  quantity  of 
salt  had  been  procured  and  deposited  in  this  sin- 
gular situation ;  and  on  a  near  approach,  I  saw  a 
great  number  of  salt  pans  formed  of  clay,  and  very 
shallow,  into  which  water  was  conducted  by  means 
of  small  gutters  cut  for  the  purpose  in  the  clay. 
The  water  issues  in  considerable  quantities  from  the 
side  of  the  mountain,  in  the  N.  W.  part  of  the  plain, 
(which  has  been  levelled  down  and  regulated  with 
great  labour,)  and  is  very  strongly  impregnated 
with  salt:  the  pans  or  basons  being  very  shallow, 
the  water  is  soon  evaporated  by  the  heat  of  the  sun, 
and  a  crystallization  of  excellent  salt  is  the  result. 
It  is  small  grained,  and  tinged  by  the  reddish 
colour  of  the  clay  of  which  the  pans  are  formed. 
The  highest  peak  of  the  mountain  did  not  appear 
to  rise  above  the  salt  spring  more  than  about  one 
hundred  feet:  a  great  number  of  men  and  boys 
were  employed  in  raking  and  heaping  up  the  salt, 
and  numbers  more  in  selling  and  measuring  it  out 
and  loading  it  on  camels,  mules,  and  asses.  Rais 
bel  Cossim  informed  me,  that  this  spring  furnished 
the  greatest  proportion  of  the  salt  that  is  made  use 
•f  i»  the  Moorish  dominions,  and  in  Suse ;    and  I 



should  estimate  the  number  of  camels,  mules,  antt 
asses  that  were  there  at  that  time  waitina'  for  loads, 
at  from  four  to  five  hundred.  We  had  met  hundreds 
on  the  route  since  we  left  Stuka,  loaded  with  this 
article,  and  I  afterwards  saw  many  loads  of  the 
same  kind  of  salt  enter  JHogadore,  or  Swearah, 
Saffy^  and  Rabat. 

We  proceeded  to  the  northward  down  the  moun- 
tain, which  is  not  so  steep  on  its  north  as  on  its 
south  side.  The  country,  after  descending  it,  was 
tolerably  smooth,  with  much  of  the  Arga  wood 
flourishing  on  every  side.  Soon  after  dark  we  came 
to  a  wall  that  enclosed  a  space  of  ground  forty  or 
fifty  yards  square:  it  was  built  of  stone  and  lime, 
six  or  eight  feet  in  height,  with  an  open  space  likv  a 
gateway  on  its  northern  side,  through  which  we 
entered  and  took  up  our  lodgings  on  the  ground, 
which  was  very  smooth.  A  walled  village  was 
near  this  yard  on  the  west,  and  on  the  north,  out- 
side of  both  walls,  stood  a  mosque  or  house  of  wor- 
ship :  the  inhabitants  were  chanting  their  evening 
or  eight  o'clock  prayers  when  we  entered  the  yard ; 
yet  none  of  them  came  out  to  look  at  us,  their  atten- 
tion being  wholly  confined  to  their  religious  duties. 
We  were  taken  from  the  mules  and  placed  near 
the  wall,  which  kept  off  the  night  wind,  and  after 
we  had  nibbled  a  little  biscuit  and  drank  some  wa- 
ter, we  thanked  God  for  his  goodness,  and  tried  to 
get  a  little  sleep.  The  wind  did  not  molest  us,  and  we 
rested  until  about  midnight,  when  we  were  awa- 
kened by  the  noise  occasioned  by  a  company  of  men 
with  loaded  camels  and  mules :   they  had  already 


probably  of  thirty  men,  with  three  times  as  many 
camels,  mules,  and  asses.  I  was  awakened  by  the 
bellowing  of  the  camels,  as  they  were  forced  to  lie 
down  with  their  heavy  loads; — the  men  did  not  speak 
to  ours,  and  as  soon  as  they  had  tethered  their  mules, 
by  tying  ropes  round  their  footlock  joints,  and  fasten- 
ing them  to  pegs  driven  into  the  ground  for  that 
purpose,  they  laid  themselves  doAvn  to  sleep,  wrap- 
ped up  in  their  haicks. 

Our  whole  company  being  awake,  they  saddled 
their  mules,  put  us  thereon,  and  we  proceeded  on 
our  journey.  It  was  very  dark,  and  the  path  lay 
through  a  rough  stony  country.  We  were  so  weak, 
that  we  could  not  sit  on  the  mules  without  one  being 
behind  to  steady  our  tottering  frames;  at  daylight 
we  found  ourselves  near  some  substantial  buildings, 
and  I  begged  of  Rais  to  buy  some  milk  if  it  was 
possible :  he  rode  near  the  gates  and  asked  some  of 
the  inhabitants  for  milk;  but  they  would  not  sell 
any.  This  to  me  was  a  sore  disappointment,  as  I 
was  benumbed  with  cold,  and  so  much  fatigued, 
that  1  thought  it  would  be  impossible  for  me  to  ride 
much  further;  which  Rais  observing,  said  to  me, 
"  keep  up  your  spirits,  Captain,  only  a  few  hours 
longer,  and  you  will  be  in  Swearah  if  God  Almighty 
continues  his  protection^"  I  was  so  reduced  and 
debilitated,  that  I  could  not  support  even  good  news 
with  any  degree  of  firmness,  and  such  was  my  agi- 
tation, that  it  was  with  the  utmost  difficulty  I  could 
keep  on  my  mule  for  some  moments  afterwards. 
We    had    been    constantly    travelling    for    three 

294  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

ays  and  most  of  three  nights,  and  though  I  con- 
cluded we  must  be  near  Swearah,  I  did  not  think 
we  should  reach  it  before  late  in  the  evening.  Pas- 
sing along  a  narrow  footway  between  high  bushes, 
we  came  to  a  long  string  of  sand  hills  on  our  left, 
drifted  up  like  the  sand  heaps  on  the  desart,  and 
along  the  coast:  it  was  then  about  eight  o'clock  in 
the  morning,  when  mounting  the  side  of  one  of 
those  hills,  the  city  of  Swearah  broke  suddenly 
upon  our  view,  with  the  island  of  Mogadore,  form- 
ing a  harbour,  in  which  was  a  brig  riding  at  an- 
chor with  English  colours  flying : — "  take  courage, 
Captain,"  said  the  good  Rais ;  "  there  is  Swearah," 
pointing  towards  the  town ;  "  and  there  is  a  vessel 
to  carry  you  to  your  country  and  family; — if  God 
please  you  will  soon  see  the  noble  Willshire,  who 
will  relieve  you  from  all  your  miseries — I  thank  my 
God  your  suiferings  are  nearly  at  an  end,  and  that 
I  have  been  found  worthy  to  be  an  instrument  in  the 
hands  of  the  Omnipotent  to  redeem  you  from  sla- 
very." He  next  returned  thanks  to  the  Almighty, 
in  Arabic,  with  all  that  fervour  and  devotion  so  pecu- 
liar to  Mohammedans,  and  then  he  ejaculated,  in 
Spanish,  "May  it  have  pleased  Almighty  God  to 
ha\e  preserved  the  lives  of  my  wife  and  children. 
We  now  proceeded  down  the  sand  liills  towards 
the  city — but  very  slowly.  Sidi  Hamet  had  been 
for  some  time  missing :  he  had  gone  privately  for- 
ward to  be  first  to  carry  the  news  to  our  deliverer 
of  our  approach;  and  now  Bel  Mooden  and  Sidi 
Mohammed  left  us  for  a  similar  purpose,  and  made 
the  best  of  their  way  towards  the  city.     It  would  be 


idle  forme  to  attempt  to  describe  the  various  emotions 
of  my  mind  at  this  exquisitely  interesting  moment :  I 
must  leave  that  to  be  conceived  of  by  the  reader. 
We  soon  approached  the  walls  of  an  imperial  palace, 
which  is  situated  about  two  miles  south-east  of  Swe- 
arah,  or  Mogadore. — The  walls  are  built  in  a  square 
of  probably  one  hundred  yards  at  each  side,  and 
about  twenty  feet  in  height — they  enclose  four  small 
square  houses,  built  at  the  four  corners  within,  and 
which  rise  one  story  above  the  walls :  the  houses 
have  square  roofs,  coming  to  a  point  in  the  centre, 
and  handsomely  covered  with  green  tiles — they,  as 
well  as  the  other  walls,  are  built  with  rough  stone, 
cemented  with  lime,  plastered  over  and  whitewashed. 
Near  the  western  angle  of  the  walls  we  stopped, 
and  were  taken  off  our  mules  and  seated  on  the  green 
grass.  A  small  stream  of  fresh  water,  running  from 
the  east,was  spreading  over  the  sand  near  Its  northern 
wall,  flowing  and  meandering  slowly  towards  the  bay 
over  the  beach,  in  a  number  of  small  rills.  The 
water  in  the  bay  was  quite  smooth ;  small  boats 
were  moving  gently  on  its  glassy  surface,  or  were 
anchored  near  its  entrance,  probably  for  the  purpose 
of  fishing ;  this,  together  with  the  sight  of  great  num- 
bers of  men  driving  camels,  cows,  asses,  and  sheep, 
and  riding  on  horses,  all  at  a  distance,  and  going  dif- 
ferent ways,  together  with  the  view  of  the  high  stee- 
ples in  Mogadore,  infused  into  ray  soul  a  kind  of  sub- 
lime delight  and  a  heavenly  serenity  that  is  indiscri- 
bable,  and  to  which  it  had  ever  before  been  a  stran- 
ger.— The  next  moment  I  discovered  the  American 
flag  floating  over  a  part  of  the  distant  city :  at  this 

20  5  CAPTAIN  Riley's  karrative. 

bl  essed  and  transporting  sight,  the  httle  blood  re- 
w  aining  in  my  veins,  guslied  through  nij  glowing  heart 
V  /ith  wild  impetuosity,  and  seemed  to  pour  a  flood  of 
^  new  life  through  every  part  of  my  exhausted  frame. 
We  were  still  seated  on  the   green  sward  near  the 
Avestern  wall,  and  the  mules  that  brought  us  there 
were  feeding  carelessly  before  us  at  a  little  distance. 
*.Our  deliverer,  who  had  received  news  of  our  coming 
i  "rom  Sidi  Hamet,  having  first  directed  the  flag  of  our 
c  ountry  to  be  hoisted  as  a  signal,  had  mounted  his 
I  lorse,  ridden  out  of  the  city,  and  came  to  the  eastern 
uide  of  the  palace  walls,  where  Rais  bel  Cossim  met 
him — unknown  to  me. — I  expected  him  soon,  but  did 
not  think  he  was  so  near:  he  had  dismounted,  and 
was  prepared  to  behold  some  of  the  most  miserable 
objects  his  imagination  could  paint — he  led  his  horse 
along  the  south  angle  and  near  the  wall :  Rais  was  by 
his  side,  when  opening  past  the  corner,  I  heard  Rais 
exclaim,   in    Spanish,  "  Alia   estan"— "  there    they 
are :" — at  this  sound  we  looked  up  and   beheld  our 
deliverer,who  had  at  that  instant  turned  his  eyes  upon 
us. — He  started  back  one  step  with  surprise.     His 
blood  seemed  to  fly  from  his  visage  for  a  moment,  but 
recovering  himself  a   little,  he  rushed  forward,  and 
clasping  me  to  his  breast,  he  ejaculated,  "  Welcome 
to  my  arms,  my  dear  Sir;  this  is  truly  a  happy  mo- 
ment."    He  next  took  erach  of  my  companions  by  the 
hand,  and  welcomed  them  to  their  liberty,  while  tears 
trickled  down  his  manly  cheeks,  and  the  sudden  rush 
of  all   the  generous  and  sympathetic  feelings  of  his 
heart   nearly   choked    his   utterance :    then  raiding 
his  eyes  towards  heaven,  he  said,  "I  tjiank  thee,  great 




Author  of  my  being  for  thy  mercy  to  these  my  bro- 
thers."— He  could  add  no  more ;  his  whole  frame  was 
so  agitated,  that  his  strength  failed  him,  and  he  sunk 
to  the  ground. — We,  on  our'part,  could  only  look  up 
towards  heaven  in  silent  adoration,  while  our  hearts 
swelled   with  indiscribable    sensations   of  gratitude 
and  love  to  the  all  wise,  all  powerful,  and  ever  merciful 
God  of  the  universe,  who  had  conducted  us  through 
so  many  dreadful  scenes  of  danger  and  suffering;  had 
controled  the  passions  and  disposed  the  hearts  of  the 
barbarous   Arabs   in    our  favour,    and    had  finally 
brought  us  to  the  arms  of  such  a  friend.  Tears  of  joy 
streamed  from  our  eyes,  and  Rais  bel  Cossim  was  so 
much  affected  at  this  interview,  that  in  order  to  con- 
ceal his  weeping,   he    hid    himself  behind   the  wall ; 
for  the  Moors,  as  well  as  the  Arabs,  hold  the  shed- 
ding of  tears  to  be  a  womanish  and  degrading  weak- 
ness.    After  a  short  pause,  when  Mr.  Willshire  had 
in  some   measure    recovered,  he   said,  "Come,  my 
friends,  let  us  go  to  the   city ;  my  house    is  already 
prepared  for  your  reception." — The  mules  were  led 
up,  and  we  were  again  placed  on  them  and  rode  off 
slowly  towards  Mogadore.     Mr.  Savage  and  Clark 
were  on  one  mule,  and  Burns  and  Horace  on  another, 
for  the  purpose  of  mutually  supporting  each  other  j 
but  their  debility  was  such,  that  they  fell  off  on  the 
beach  two  or   three  times  before    they  reached  the 
city; — however,  it  was  on  the  soft  sand,  and  as  they 
■were  very  light,  they  seemed  to  have  received   no 
material  injury ; — they  were  again  placed  on  the  mules, 
and  steadied   until  our  arrival  at  the  gates  of  Swe- 
arah,  by  Moors  walking  beside  them.     The  gateway 


was  crowded  with  Moors,  Jews,  and  negroes — the 
news  of  our  coming  having  spread  through  the  city, 
and  a  curiosity  to  see  Christian  slaves,  had  brought 
them  together  in  great  numbers ;  and  the  men  and 
boys  of  the  rabble  were  only  restrained  from  com- 
mittijig  violence  on  us,  by  the  gate-keepers  and  a  few 
soldiers,  who  voluntarily  escorted  us  toMr.  Willshire's 
house,  and  in  some  measure  kept  off  the  crowd: 
there  we  were  taken  from  our  mules;  but  some  sol- 
diers coming  in  at  that  instant,  said  it  was  the  Ba- 
shaw's orders  that  we  should  appear  before  him  im- 
mediately, and  we  were  constrained  to  obey  :  it  was 
but  a  few  steps,  and  we  were  enabled  to  walk  there 
by  supporting  one  another.  When  we  came  to  the 
door,  we  were  ushered  into  a  kind  of  entry-way,  which 
served  as  an  audience  chamber,  by  Mr.  Willshire's 
Jew  interpreter,  who  in  token  of  submission,  was  ob- 
liged to  pull  off  his  cap  and  slippers  before  he  could 
enter. — We  were  ordered  to  sit  down  on  the  floor, 
and  we  then  saw  before  us  a  very  respectable  looking 
Moor,  of  about  sixty  years  of  age :  he  was  sitting 
cross-leg2;ed  on  a  mat  or  carpet  that  lay  on  the 
floor,  which  was  terrace-work,  drinking  tea  from  a 
small  cup — his  dress  was  the  haick.  After  he  had 
finished  his  cup  of  tea  and  looked  at  us  a  moment,  he 
asked  me,  through  the  interpreter,  what  countryman 
I  was  ?  where  my  vessel  was  wrecked  ?  how  many 
men  I  had  in  all,  and  if  the  remainder  were  alive  ? 
how  long  I  had  been  ^  slave,  and  if  the  Arab,  my 
last  master,  had  treated  me  kindly  ?  He  wanted, 
further,  to  know  how  much  money  from  my  vessel 
fftli  into  the  hands  of  the  Arabs,  and  what  other  cargf> 


she  had  on  board.  Having  satisfied  his  inquiries  in 
the  best  manner'!  was  able,  he  said  we w free, 
and  he  would  write  to  the  emperor  respecting  me 
and  my  men,  and  hoped  he  would  give  us  leave  to 
go  home  to  our  country  : — he  then  dismissed  us.  Mr. 
Willshire  was  with  us,  and  answered  all  the  ques- 
tions the  Bashaw  chose  to  put  to  him,  and  then  as- 
sisted us  in  returning  to  his  house. 



The  author  and  his  companions  are  cleansed^  clothed^ 
and  fed — he  becomes  delirious,  but  is  again  restored 
to  reason — the  kindness  of  Mr.  Willshire — letter  from 
Horatio  Sprague,  Esq.  of  Gibraltar — author'' s  refec- 
tions on  his  past  sufferings  and  on  the  providential 
chain  of  events  that  had  fitted  him  for  enduring  them, 
and  miraculously  supported  and  restored  him  and  his 
four  cojnpanions  to  their  liberty. 

Upon  our  arrival  at  Mr.Willshire's  house,some  Jews 
were  ready  to  shave  off  our  beards,  and  as  the  hair 
of  our  heads  was  also  in  a  very  unpleasant  condition ; 
being  literally  filled  with  vermin ;  that,  as  well  as 
our  beards,  underwent  the  operation  of  the  scissors 
and  razor :  the  hair  was  cut  off  at  least  as  close  as 
the  horrible  state  of  our  skin  and  flesh  would  admit 
of:  this  may  be  imagined,  but  it  is  absolutely  too 
shocking  for  description.  Our  squalid  and  emaciated 
frames  were  then  purified  with  soap  and  water,  and 


our  humane  and  genferous  friend  furnished  us  with 
some  of  his  own  clothing,  after  our  bodies,  which 
were  still  covered  with  sores,  had  been  rubbed  with 
sweet  oil.  Mr.  Willshire's  cook  had  by  this  time 
prepared  a  repast,  which  consisted  of  beef  cut  into 
square  pieces,  just  large  enough  for  a  mouthful  before 
it  waa  cooked;  these  were  then  rolled  in  onions,  cut 
up  fine,  and  mixed  with  salt  and  pepper;  they  were 
in  the  next  place  put  on  iron  skewers  and  laid  hori- 
zontally across  a  pot  of  burning  charcoal,  and  turned 
over  occasionally,  until  it  was  perfectly  roasted:  this 
dish  is  called  Cubbub,  and  in  my  opinion  far  surpasses 
in  flavour  the  so  much  admired  beef-steak  ;  as  it  is 
eaten  hot  from  the  skewers,  and  is  indeed  an  excel- 
lent mode  of  cooking  beef. — We  ate  sparingly  of 
this  delicious  food,  which  was  accompanied  with  some 
good  wheaten  bread  and  butter,  and  followed  by  a 
quantity  of  exquisite  pomegranates ;  for  our  stomachs 
were  contracted  to  such  a  degree  by  long  fastings, 
that  they  had  lost  their  tone,  and  could  not  receive 
the  usual  allowance  for  a  healthy  man. — A  doctor 
then  appeared  and  administered  to  each  of  us  a  dose 
of  physic,  which  he  said  was  to  prepare  our  stomachs 
for  eating.  He  was  a  Jew,  who  had  been  bred  at 
Moscow  in  Russia,  had  studied  medicine  there,  and 
had  since  travelled  through  Germany,  Italy,  and 
Spain;  he  spoke  the  Spanish  language  fluently,  and 
I  was  convinced,  before  I  left  Mogadore,  that  he  pos- 
sessed much  medical  as  well  as  surgical  skill.  He 
had  only  been  in  Swearah  or  Mogadore  two  months, 
and  there  was  no  other  physician  in  that  city,  or  in 
that  part  of  the  country,  except  jugglers  or  quacks. 

SUFFERl^GS    IN   AFRICA.  301 

Good  beds  had  been  fitted  up  for  myself  and  Mr. 
Savage  in  the  same  room,  and  after  being  welcomed 
hy  Mr.  John  Foxcroft  and  Don  Pablo  Riva,  who  had 
heard  of  our  arrival,  we  retired  to  rest. 

My  mind,  which  (though  mj  body  was  worn  down 
to  a  skeleton)  had  been  hitherto  strong,  and  support- 
ed me  through  all  mv  trials,  distresses,  and  suffer- 
ings,  and  enabled  me  to  encourage  and  keep  up  the 
spirits  of  my  frequently  despairing  fellow-sufferers, 
could  no  longer  sustain  me :  my  sudden  change  of 
situation  seemed  to  have  relaxed  the  very  springs  of 
my  soul,  and  all  my  faculties  fell  into  the  wildest 
confusion.  The  unbounded  kindness,  the  goodness, 
and  whole  attention  of  Mr.  Willshire,  who  made  use 
of  all  the  soothino;  lano;ua«ce  of  which  the  most  affec- 
tionate  brother  or  friend  is  capable,  tended  but  to 
ferment  the  tempest  that  was  gathering  in  my  brain. 
I  became  delirious — was  bereft  of  my  senses — and  for 
the  space  of  three  days  knew  not ,  where  I  was.— ^ 
When  my  reason  returned,  I  found  I  had  been  con- 
stantly attended  by  Mr.  Willshire,  and  generally  kept 
in  ray  room,  though  he  would  sometimes  persuade 
me  to  walk  in  the  gallery  with  him,  and  used  every 
means  in  his  power  to  restore  and  compose  my  bewil- 
dered senses :  that  I  had  remained  continually  bathed 
in  tears,  and  shuddering  at  the  sight  of  every  human 
being,  fearing  I  should  again  be  carried  into  slavery. 
I  had  slunk  into  the  darkest  corner  of  my  room ;  but 
though  insensible,  I  seemed  to  know  the  worth  of  my 
friend  and  deliverer,  and  would  agree  to,  and  compiy 
with  his  advice  and  directions. 


In  the  mean  time,  this  most  estimable  and  noble 
minded  young  man,  had  neither  spared  pains  nor 
expense  in  procuring  for  us  every  comfort,  and  in 
administering,  with  his  own  hands,  night  and  day, 
such  reh'ef  and  refreshment  as  our  late  severe  suffer- 
ings and  present  debility  required.  He  had  sent 
off  persons  on  mules  to  the  vicinity  of  the  city  of  Mo- 
rocco, more  than  one  hundred  miles,  and  procured 
some  of  the  most  delicious  fruits  that  country  can 
produce,  such  as  dates,  figs,  grapes,  pomegranates, 
&c. — He  o^ave  us  for  drink  the  best  of  wines,  and 
I  again  began  to  have  an' appetite  for  my  food,  which 
was  prepared  with  the  greatest  care.  My  men  were 
furnished  with  shirts,  trowsers,  and  jackets,  and  being 
fed  with  the  most  nourishing  soups  and  other  kinds 
of  food,  gained  a  considerable  degree  of  strength. 
Captain  Wallace,  of  the  English  brig  Pilot,  then  being 
in  the  port,  furnished  us  with  some  pork,  split  peas, 
and  potatoes,  and  seemed  very  friendly.  Clark  and 
Burns  were  but  the  skeletons  of  men — Mr.  Savage 
and  Horace  were  nearly  as  much  reduced,  but  not 
having  been  diseased  in  so  great  a  degree,  they  were 
consequently  stronger.  Many  of  my  bones,  as  well 
as  my  ribs,had  been  divested  entirely,  not  only  of  flesh, 
but  of  skin,  and  had  appeared  white  hke  dry  bones 
when  on  the  desart;  but  they  were  now  nearly 
covered  again,  though  we  still  might  with  some  reason 
be  termed  the  dry  skeletons  of  Moorish  slaves.  At 
the  instance  of  Mr.  Wiltshire  I  was  weighed,  and 
fell  short  of  ninety  pounds,  though  ray  usual  Aveight, 
for  the  last  ten  years,  had  been  over  two  hundred 
and  forty  pounds :  the  weight  of  my  companions  was 


less  than  I  dare  to  mention,  for  I  apprehend  it  would 
not  be  beheved,  that  the  bodies  of  men  retaining  the 
vital  spark,  should  not  weigh  forty  pounds. 

The  sight  of  my  face  in  a  glass  called  to  ray  recol- 
lection all  the  trying  scenes  I  had  passed  through 
since  my  shipwreck  ; — I  could  contemplate  with  plea- 
sure and  gratitude  the  power,  and  wisdom,  and  fore- 
knowledge of  the  Supreme  Being,  as  well  as  his  mercy 
and  unbounded  goodness.  I  could  plainly  discover 
that  the  train  of  events  which,  in  my  former  life,  I 
had  always  considered  as  great  misfortunes,  had  been 
directed  by  unerring  wisdom,  and  had  fitted  me  for 
running  the  circle  marked  out  by  the  Omnipotent. 
When  1  studied  the  French  and  Spanish  languages, 
I  did  it  from  expectations  of  future  gain  in  a  com- 
mercial point  of  view.  All  the  exertions  I  had 
hitherto  made  to  become  acquainted  with  foreign 
languages,  and  to  store  my  mind  with  learning  and 
a  knowledge  of  mankind,  had  procured  for  me  no 
wealth  ;  without  which  acquirement  a  man  is  gene- 
rally considered  on  the  stage  of  the  world  as  a  very 
insignificant  creature,  that  may  be  kicked  off  or  tram- 
pled upon  by  the  pampered  worms  of  his  species,  who 
sport  around  him  with  all  the  upstart  pride  of  (in 
many  instances)  ill-gotten  treasure.  I  had  been 
cheated  and  swindled  out  of  property  by  those  whom 
I  considered  my  friends;  yet  my  mind  was  formed 
for  friendship; — I  do  not  speak  of  this  in  the  way  of 
boasting.  My  hand  had  never  been  slack  in  relieving 
the  distresses  of  my  fellow  men  whenever  I  had  the 
power,  in  the  different  countries  where  I  had  been; 
but  I  had  almost  become  a  stoic,  and  had  very  nearly 

304  CAPTAIN    KILEy's    NARRATiyE, 

concluded,  that  disinterested  friendship  and  benevo- 
lence, out  of  the  circle  of  a  man's  own  family,  was  not 
to  be  found;  that  the  virtuous  man,if  poor,wasnot  only 
despised,  by  his  more  fortunate  fellow  creatures,  but 
forsaken  almost  by  Providence  itself  I  now,  however, 
had  positive  proof  to  the  contrary  of  some  of  those 
hasty  and  ill-founded  opinions ;  and  I  clearly  saw 
that  I  had  only  been  tutored  in  the  school  of  adversity, 
in  order  that  I  might  be  prepared  for  fulfilling  the 
purpose  for  which  I  had  been  created. 

In  the  midst  of  those  reflections!  received,  by  a  cou- 
rier from  Consul  General  Simpson,  at  Tangier,  to  Mr. 
Willshire,  the  following  letter  : — it  speaks  the  soul  of 
the  writer,  and  needs  no  comment. 

Gibraltar^  1 3/A  JS'ovemher,  1815. 
My  DEAR  Riley, 

I  will  not  waste  a  moment  by  unnecessary  pre- 
amble. I  have  wrote  to  Mr.  Willshire,  that  your  draft 
on  me  for  twelve  hundred  dollars,  or  more,  shall  be 
duly  paid  for  the  obtainment  of  your  liberty,  and 
those  with  you.  I  have  sent  him  two  double  barrelled 
guns  to  meet  his  promise  to  the  Moor. — In  a  short 
time  after  the  receipt  of  this,  I  hope  to  have  the  hap- 
piness to  take  you  by  the  hand  under  my  roof  again. 
You  will  come  here  by  the  way  of  Tangier. 

Your  assured  friend, 
Horatio  Spkague. 

My  sensations  on  reading  this  letter,  and  on  seeing 
that  written  by  Mr.  Sprague  to  Mr.  Willshire,  I  must 
leave  to  the  reader  to  imagine,  and  only  observe  that 


wj  acquaintance  with  that  gentleman  was  but  very 
slight,  say  about  ten  days,  while  I  remained  at  Gib- 
raltar, immediately  before  my  disaster — it  was  suffi- 
cient for  him  to  know  his  fellow  creatures  were  in 
distress,  and  that  it  was  in  his  power  to  relieve  them. 
Mr.  Sprague  is  a  native  of  Boston,  the   capital  of 
the  State  of  Massachusetts,  and  had  established  him- 
self as  a  respectable  merchant  in  Gibraltar  a  little 
before  the  breaking  out  of  the  late  war. — In  the  early 
part  of  that  war  a  number  of  American  vessels  were 
despatched  by  individuals  with  cargoes  of  provisions, 
&c.  for  Spain  and  Portugal — these  vessels  were  navi- 
gated under  enemies'  licenses,  but  from  some  cause 
or  other,  many  of  them  were  seized  on  the  ocean  by 
British  ships  of  war,  and  conducted  to  Gibraltar; 
where  both  the  vessels  and  their  carojoes  were  con- 
demned,  and  their  crews  turned  adrift  in  the  streets 
without  a  cent  of  money  in  their  pockets,  and  left  to 
the  mercy  of  the  elements.     Mr.  Gavino,  the  Ameri- 
can consul,  would  not  act  in  their  behalf,  because  (as 
he  stated)  his  functions  had  ceased  by  reason  of  the 
war; — when  this  humane  and  generous  gentleman 
took   them  under  his   protection,   hired  the  hulk   of 
an  old  vessel  for  them  to  live  in,  furnished  them  with 
provisions  and  other  necessaries  and  comforts  for  the 
term  of  one  whole  year  or  upwards,  and  in  this  man^ 
ner  supported  for  the  greater  part   of  that  time  as 
many  as  one  hundred  and  fifty  men — this  he  did  from 
his  own  purse,  and  out  of  pure  philanthropy — of  this 
I  was  informed  by  Mr.  Charles  Moore,  of  Philadel- 
phia, and  other  gentlemen  of  respectability  and  vera- 
city.    He  als9  furnish^  and  sent  a  considerable  sum 

R  r 


ofmoney  to  Algiers,  which  bought  from  hard  labour 
our  unfortunate  countrymen,  comprising  the  officerss 

and  crew  of  the  brig ,  Captain  Smith,  of  Boston, 

who  were  made  slaves  by  that  regency ; — in  this  he 
was  assisted  by  Messrs.  Charles  H.  Hall  &  Co.  mer- 
chants at  Cadiz,  and  several  other  v/orthy  and  respec- 
table Americans;  but  the  loss  of  the  United  States' 
sloop  of  war  the  Epervier,  when  homeward  bound, 
having  on  board  all  the  redeemed  slaves  after  the 
peace  with  Algiers,  rendered  it  impossible  for  them 
to  communicate  their  sense  of  gratitude  for  Mr. 
Sprague's  humanity.  These  facts  were  stated  to  me 
by  several  respectable  individuals  in  Gibraltar,  and 
can  be  authenticated  beyond  a  doubt. 

After  my  mind  had  been  again  tranquillized  by  a 
refreshing  night's  sleep,  my  reflections  returned  to  my 
providential  preservation. 

When  my  vessel  was  wrecked,  I  was  endued  with 
presence  of  mind,  judgment,  and  prudence,  whereby 
my  whole  crew  was  saved  in  the  first  instance,  and 
safely  landed.  When  I  was  seized  on  afterwards  by 
the  Arabs,  a  superior  intelligence  suddenly  suggested 
to  my  mind  a  stratagem  by  which  my  life  was  saved, 
though  one  of  my  unfortunate  companions  was  sacri- 
ficed to  glut  the  brutal  ferocity  of  the  natives,  whilst 
I  was  conducted  to  the  wreck  in  safety  through  a 
tremendous  surf  that  rolled  over  me  every  instant. 
The  wayp  oi"  Providence  were  next  traced  out  to  my 
wondering  eyes  in  the  smoothing  down  of  the  sea,  so 
that  we  were  enabled  to  row  our  crazy  boat  out  with 
safety  to  the  ocean,  and  in  our  preservation  in  an  open 
boat  amidst  violent  gales  of  wind,  though  her  timbers 
and  planks  seemed  only  to  hold  together  by  the  pres- 


sure  of  the  sea  acting  upon  their  outer  side.     When 
destitute  of  provisions  and  water,  worn   down  with 
privations  and  fatigues,  we   were  again  landed  on 
the  coast,  carried  on  the  top  of  a  dreadful   wave 
over  the  heads   of   craggy   rocks   that  must  have 
dashed  us  and  our  boat  to  atoms  without  a   particu- 
lar divine  protection.      We    were  next  forced   to 
.  climb  over  the  most  formidable  precipices    and  ob- 
structions, before  it   was  possible  to  arrive  on  the 
dreary  desart  above  us:  these  delays  were  necessary 
to  bring  us,  at  a  proper   time,  within   sight  of  fires 
kindled  by  Arabs,  who  had  arrived  there  that  day, 
(and  who  were  the  first,  as  I  was    afterwards  in- 
formed, who  had  been   there  to  water  their  camels 
within  the  last  thirty  days,)   and  who  were  provi- 
dentially sent  to  save  our  lives,  as  we  could  not  have 
existed  a  day  longer  without  drink.     Though  my 
skin  was  burned  off  by  the  sun's  rays,  and   myself 
given  as  a  slave  to  those  wandering  wretches — the 
same  Almighty  power  still  preserved  my  life,  endowed 
me  with  intelligence  to  comprehend  a  language  I  had 
never  before  heard  spoken,  and  enabled  me  to  make 
myself  understood  by  that  people,  and  in  some  degree 
respected.     Sidi  Hamet  (though  a  thievish  Arab) 
had   been  sent  from  the  confines  of  the   Moorish 
Empire  before  I  left  Gibraltar:  he  was  conducted 
by  the  same  unerring  wisdom  to  my  master's  tent ; 
his  heart  was  softened  at  the  recital  of  my  distresses, 
and  instead    of  trading  in    the   article    of  ostrich 
feathers,  (which  was  his  whole  business  there,  as  he 
believed)  he  was  persuaded  by  a  wretched  naked 
•keleton  of  a  slave,  merely  retaining  the  glimmering 


of  the  vital  spark,  against  his  own  judgment,  and 
directly  and  strenuously  opposed  by  his  brother  and 
partner,   who  insisted  that  if  even  I  told  the  truth, 
and  had  a  friend  in  Morocco  to  purchase  me  on  my 
arrival  there,  yet  my  death  must  certainly  happen 
long  before  it  was  possible  to  get  me  to  that  place : 
yet  this  same  brother,  one  of  the  most  barbarous  of 
men,  was  forced,  though  against  his  will,  to  agree,  and 
to  lend  the  aid  of  his  property  in  effecting  the  pur- 
chase, and  to  exert  himself  to  support  and  to  defend 
myself  and    four    companions    through  the  desart, 
whilst  all  his  schemes  for  selling   and  separating  us 
had  constantly  proved  abortive.     A  Spanish  barque 
had  been  destroyed  by  the  natives  on  the  coast  of 
Suse,  north  of  Cape   Nun,  and  nineteen  men  had 
been    either    massacred    by    the    natives,    or   were 
groaning   out    a    miserable   existence   in  the  worst 
kind  of  barbarian  slavery — this  event  alone  had  fur- 
nished a  piece  of  paper  on  which  I  wrote  the  note, 
at  a  venture,  to  Mogadore :    my  note  fell   into  the 
hands  of  a  perfect  stranger,  whose  name  I  had  never 
even  heard  of,  and  who   was  as   ignorant   of  mine. 
This  excellent  young  man  was  touched  by  the  same 
power  who  had  hitherto  protected  me:  he  agreed  to 
pay   the  sum  demanded  without  reflection,  though 
his  utter  ruin   might  have   been   the   consequence, 
trusting  implicitly  to  the  written  word  of  a  wretched 
naked  slave ;  a  person  of  whom  he  had  no  know- 
ledge, and  who  was  then  three  hundred  miles  dis- 
tant, and  even  out  of  the  power  of  the  government 
that  protected  him ;  and  his  impatience  to  relieve  my 
distresses  was  so  great,  that  he  instantly  paid  the 


money  demanded  by  my  master,  on  his  simply  agree- 
ing to  stay  in  Swearah  (Mogadore)  until  we  came 
up,  but  without  the  power  to  keep  him  one  instant  if 
lie  chose  to  go  away ;  nor  would  he  allow  time  to 
the  magnanimous  Moor,  who  kindly  volunteered  to 
go  down  after  us,  at  the  imminent  risk  of  his  life, 
scarcely  to  take  leave  of  his  family :  mounting  him 
on  his  own  mule,  and  begging  him  to  hurry  on,  day 
and  night,  until  he  reached  us,  and  to  spare  neither 
pains  or  expense  in  fetching  us  to  Mogadore. 

I  cannot  here  omit  mentioning  the  manner  in 
which  Mr.  Willshire  got  ray  first  note.  Sidi  Hamet 
(the  bearer  of  it)  was  one  of  those  Arabs  belonging 
to  a  tribe,  surnamed  by  the  Moors  sons  of  Lions, 
on  account  of  their  unconquerable  spirit;  when  he 
came  to  the  gate  of  Swearah  or  Mogadore,  he  provi- 
dentially was  met  by  Rais  bel  Cossim,  who  though  a 
perfect  stranger,  asked  him,  "  From  whence  come 
you,  son  of  a  lion?"  Upon  which  Sidi  Hamet  stop- 
ped, and  made  known  his  business.  This  Moor  was 
the  only  one  which  Mr.  Willshire  placed  coafidence 
in,  or  treated  as  a  friend :  he  conducted  Sidi  Hamet  to 
Mr.  Willsliire's  house,  and  offered  to  leave  his  family, 
who  were  then  sick,  and  to  do  his  utmost  to  restore 
me  and  my  men  to  liberty.  Providence  had  also 
caused  us  to  be  stopped  at  Stuka,  where  we  had 
time  to  recover,  in  part,  from  our  illness,  and  to  gain 
strength  enough  to  support  us  through  the  remainder 
of  our  journey;  had  turned  the  contrivances  of 
Sheick  AH  into  nothingness,  and  finally  provided  for 
us  such  a  friend  as  Mr.  Sprague  of  Gibraltar,  one 
©f  the  most  feeling  and  best  of  men. 


This  providential  chain  of  events,  thus  planned 
and  executed,  even  against  the  will  of  the  principal 
agents  employed,  filled  my  mind  with  unutterable 
thankfulness  and  wonder  at  the  wisdom,  the  good- 
Bess,  and  the  mercy  of  God  towards  me ;   and  the 
emotions  which  these   reflections  excited  kept  me 
almost  constantly  bathed   in   tears  for  the  greatest 
part  of  a  month.     When  I  retired  to  rest,  and  sleep 
had   closed  my   eyes,    my  mind   still   retaining  the 
strong  impression  of  my  past  sufferings,  made  them 
the  subjects  of  my  dreams.     I  used   to  rise   in    my 
sleep,  and  think  I  was  driving  camels  up  and  down 
the  sandy  hills  near  the  desart,  or  along  the  craggy 
steeps  of  Morocco :  obeying  my  master's  orders   in 
putting  on  my  fetters,  or  beckets,  on   the    legs   and 
knees  of  his  camels,  and  in  the  midst  of   my   agoni- 
zing toils  and  heart-sickening   anxieties,   while  gro- 
ping about  my  room,  I   would  hit  my  head   against 
something,    which  would   startle    and  awaken    me: 
then  I  would  throw  myself  on  my  bed  again  to  sleep, 
and  dream,  and  act  over  similar  scenes.     Fearing  I 
should  get  out  of  my   chamber  and  injure  myself  in 
my  sleep,  I  always  locked  the  door,  and  hid  the  key 
before  I  went  to  bed.     There  was  a  grating  to  the 
windows  of  the  apartments  I  slept  in,  and    I    often 
awoke    and   found  myself  trying  to  get  out.     My 
mind  at  length  became  more  composed   and  serene 
as  my  strength  increased,  and  by  the  first  of  Decem- 
ber I  was  able  to  ride  out,  and  to  walk  about  the 
city.      Mr.  Willshire,  whose  whole   attention   had 
been  shown  to  me  and  my  companions,  tried  every 
means  to  divert  my  mind  from  the  subject  of  my 


reflections,  and  would  ride  out  with  me  to  a  garden 
two  miles  out  of  the  city,  accompanied  by  a  Moor, 
where  we  passed  away  many  pleasant  hours,  which 
were  endeared  by  every  feeling  and  sentiment 
of  gratitude  and  esteem  on  the  one  part,  and  of 
generous  sympathy  and  god-like  benevolence  on  the 

In  this  garden  stood  a  venerable  fig-tree,  whose 
body  and  boughs  were  covered  with  the  names,  and 
initials  of  the  names,  of  almost  all  the  Europeans 
and  Americans  who  had  visited  Swearah,  or  Moga- 
dore,  carved  out  with  knives  in  the  thick  bark,  ac- 
companied with  the  dates  of  their  several  visits,  &c. 
This  was  a  kind  of  monument  I  delighted  to  examine; 
it  seemed  to  say  that  Swearah  was  once  a  flourishing 
city,  when  its  commerce  was  fostered  by  the  Moor- 
ish government;  but  now,  thatsuperstition,fanaticism, 
and  tyranny  bear  sway,  they  have  swept  away, 
with  their  pernicious  breath,  the  whole  wealth  of  its 
once  industrious  and  highly  favoured  inhabitants; — 
have  driven  the  foreigner  from  their  shores,  and  it 
seems  as  if  the  curse  of  Heaven  had  fallen  on  the 
whole  land,  for  in  spite  of  all  the  exertions  of  its 
cultivators  and  the  fertility  of  the  soil,  severe 
droughts,  and  the  ravages  of  the  locusts,  have  fre- 
quently caused  a  famine  in  that  country,  from  whence 
wheat  was  exported  in  immense  quantities  but  a  few 
years  past  for  Spain  and  Portugal,  at  half  a  dollar 
per  bushel.  Not  a  single  bushel  had  been  shipped 
for  some  years  past,  and  at  this  time  none  was  to 
be  had  at  any  price,  except  now  and  then  a  few 
kags,  brought  from  the  province  of  Duquella,  which 


could  only  be  purchased  by  the  most  wealthy:  the 
others  were  provided  with  scanty  portions  of  barley, 
®f  which  they  made  their  coos-coo-soo. 


The  author's  motives  for  requesting  o/",  and  writing 
down,  his  former  master'^s  narrative  of  Travels  on 
the  Desart  when  in  Mogadore,  together  with  Sidi 
Hamet'^s  narrative  of  a  journey  across  the  great  de- 
sart to  Tombuctoo,  and  back  again  to  Wednoon,  with 
a  caravan. 

From  the  time  I  had  a  prospect  of  being  redeem^ 
ed  from  slavery,  I  had  determined  (if  that  should 
ever  happen)  to  write  an  account  of  our  sufferings, 
which  I  considered  orreater  than  had  ever  fallen  to 
the  lot  of  man,  and  also  to  embody  such  observa- 
tions as  I  had  been  enabled  to  make  while  a  slave, 
in  travelling  the  great  desart,  &c.  &:c.  for  the  satis- 
faction of  my  family  and  the  friends  of  my  fellow-suf- 
ferers. My  late  master  was  yet  in  Mogadore,  for  he 
remained  in  the  house  of  my  deliverer  about  two 
weeks  after  our  arrival,  and  he  now  mentioned  to 
me  that  heandhis  brother  had  been  three  times  to 
Tombuctoo  (as  he  had  before  informed  Mr.  Will- 
shire)  with  caravans,  and  had  crossed  the  desart  in 
almost  every  direction.  I  felt  interested  in  making 
every  inquiry  that  could  suggest  itself  to  my  mind 
respecting  the  face  and  the  extent  of  the  desart  and 
the  countries  south  of  it;  and  although  I  was  con- 
vinced, by  my  own  observations,  that  both  he  and  his 

SUPFEUllNGS    IN    AFRICA.  313 

brother,  probably  In  common  with  the  Arabs  of  the 
desart,  knew  the  courses  they  steered,  notwithstand- 
ing they  had  no  compass  or  any  other  instrument  to 
direct  them  in  their  journeys,  yet  wishing  to  be  fully 
satisfied  in  this  particular,  I  took  them  up  upon  the 
roof  of  the  house  (which  was  flat  and  terraced  with 
stones  laid  in  lime  cement,  and  smooth  like  a  floor) 
one  clear  evening,  and  then  told  them  that  I  wanted 
to  know  by  what  means  they  were  enabled  to  find 
their  way  across  the  trackless  desart.  Sidi  Hamet 
immediately  pointed  out  to  me  the  north  or  polar 
star,  and  the  great  bear,  and  told  me  the  Arabic 
names  of  the  principal  fixed  stars,  as  well  as  of  the 
planets,  then  visible  in  the  firmament,  and  his  man- 
ner of  steering  and  reckoning  time  by  the  means  of 
them.  His  correct  observations  on  the  stars,  per- 
fectly astonished  me :  he  appeared  to  be  much  bet- 
ter acquainted  with  the  motions  of  the  heavenly  bo- 
dies than  I  was,  who  had  made  it  my  study  for  a 
great  many  years,  and  navigated  to  many  parts  of 
the  globe  by  their  assistaijce.  To  convince  me  that 
he  knew  the  cardinal  points,  he  laid  two  small  sticks 
across  at  right  angles,  one  pointing  directly  towards 
the  polar  star — he  next  placed  two  others  across, 
dividing  the  circle  into  eighths,  and  then  in  like  man- 
ner into  sixteenths,  so  that  I  was  satisfied  he  knew 
the  requisite  divisions  of  the  compass :  and  on  the 
next  day  I  requested  him  to  give  me  a  narrative  of 
his  journeyings  on,  and  across  the  desart,  with  which 
he  very  readily  complied,  and  related  as  follows;— 
while  I  sat  in  my  room  with  pen,  ink,  and  paper, 
and  n»ted  it  down,  having  the  Moor  bel  Mooden  to 

9  S 


interpret  and  explain  to  me  in  Spanish  such  parts  of 
the  narrative  as  I  did  not  perfectly  comprehend  in 
Arabic.  I  give  it  to  the  reader  as  nearly  as  possible 
in  the  words  of  the  narrator,  and  do  not  hold  myself 
responsible  for  Sidi  Hamet's  correctness,  or  his  ve- 
racity, though  for  ray  own  part  I  have  no  doubt  but 
he  meant  to,  and  did  tell  the  truth  as  near  as  his  re- 
collection served  him,  and  as  he  had  a  retentive 
memory,  and  the  Incidents  related  were  calculated 
to  impress  themselves  strongly  on  his  intelligent 
mind,  I  have  no  doubt  but  his  whol»  narrative  is 
substantially  true. 


Sidi  Hamefs  narrative  of  a  journey  from  Widnoon 
across  the  great  Desart  to  Tombuctoo,  and  back  again 
to  Widnoon. 

"  The  first  time  I  set  out  to  cross  the  great  de- 
sart, was  several  years  ago,  (about  nine  or  ten)  be- 
ing in  the  vicinity  of  Widnoon,  where  I  had  the  year 
before  been  married  to  the  daughter  of  Sheick  Ali, 
(a  beautiful  woman,  who  is  now  my  wife,  and  has  two 
fine  boys  and  one  girl.)  I,  with  my  brother  Seid, 
joined  the  caravan  at  Widnoon,  by  the  advice  of 
Sheick  Ali:  we  had  four  camels  loaded  with  haicks 
and  some  other  goods.  The  whole  caravan  consisted 
of  about  three  thousand  camels  and  eight  hundred 
men,  with  goods  of  almost  every  kind  that  are  sold 
in  Morocco.  The  men  were  all  armed  with  good 
muskets  and  scimitars,  and  the  whole  under  the  com- 


mand  of  Sketch  ben  Soleyman  of  Waldeleim,  (Woled 
Deleim  on  the  map)  with  four  good  guides.  We 
set  out  from  WIdnoon,  in  Suse,  which  is  a  great 
place  of  trade,  late  in  the  fall  of  the  year,  and  tra- 
velled six  days  to  the  west,  when  we  came  to  the  last 
mountain — there  we  stopped  ten  days,  and  let  our 
camels  feed  on  the  bushes,  while  half  the  men  were 
employed  in  getting  wood  from  the  mountain,  and 
burning  it  into  charcoal,  which  we  put  into  bags,  as 
it  was  light,  and  laid  it  on  the  camels  over  the  other 
goods ;  then  setting  off  for  the  desart,  we  mounted 
up  to  its  level,  which  is  a  great  deal  higher  than  the 
country  near  it  to  the  north,  and  travelled  four  days 
on  the  hard  level ;  we  then  passed  amongst  the  high 
sand  hills,  which  you  saw  when  we  were  coming  up, 
in  order  that  we  might  keep  along  by  the  great  sea, 
so  as  to  be  sure  of  findino;  water;  we  travelled 
through  and  among  these  great  mountains  of  sand, 
which  were  then  very  bad  to  pass,  because  the  wind 
blew  so  hard,  we  could  scarcely  keep  together,  being 
almost  covered  up  by  the  flying  sand :  it  took  us  six 
days  to  get  through  them ;  after  which  the  ground 
was  smooth,  and  almost  as  hard  as  the  floor  of  a 
house,  for  ten  days  more,  when  we  came  to  a  water- 
ing place,  called  Biblah  ;  there  Ave  watered  our  cam- 
els, for  they  were  very  thirsty,  and  eight  of  them 
had  died  and  served  us  for  food.  We  stopped  at 
that  great  well  seven  days,  and  afterwards  kept  on 
our  journey  to  the  S.  W.  twenty  days,  to  another 
well,  called  Kibir  Jibl,  but  there  was  no  water  in  it, 
and  we  were  obliged  to  go  six  days'  journey  to  the 
sea-coast,  where  there  was  a  well  close  to  the  sea^, 

316  Captain  riley's  narrative. 

whose  water  was  very  black  and  salt:  liere  we  were 
forced  to  unload  the  camels,  and  get  them  down  the 
bank  to  the  water,  but  after  drinking,  they  yielded 
us  some  milk,  which  had  been  almost  dried  up  be- 
fore: — we  foimd,  however,  nothing  for  them  to  feed 
on,  and  had  been  oblisced  to  orive  them  of  the  coals 
to  eat  once  a  day  for  many  days :  this  kept  them 
alive,  but  it  made  their  milk  almost  as  black  as  the 
coals  themselves ;  yet  it  was  good,  and  we  were 
glad  to  get  it.  It  took  up  six  days  to  water  the 
whole  of  them,  when  we  set  out  again,  and  travelled 
near  the  sea,  where  we  found  wells  about  every  ten 
days,  like  the  one  we  had  already  visited,  but  very 
few  green  leaves  on  the  little  bushes,  in  the  few 
small  valleys  we  saw,  for  no  rain  had  fallen  for  a 
great  while  on  that  part  of  the  desart. 

"  After  a  journey  of  four  moons,  we  came  to  the 
south  part  of  the  desart,  and  went  down  into  the 
country  of  Soudain,  where  we  found  a  little  stream 
of  good  running  water,  and  some  bushes,  and  some 
grass,  and  a  very  large  tribe  of  Bessebes  Arabs,, 
(Libdessebas  on  the  map)  wfio  had  plenty  of  barley 
and  maize  or  Indian  corn,  of  which  we  bought  some? 
and  made  bread,  and  stopped  here  one  moon.  We 
lost  on  the  desart  more  than  three  hundred  camels, 
which  died  of  fatigue,  and  the  want  of  water  and 
food,  but  not  one  man.  All  the  tribes  of  Arabs  we 
came  near,  took  their  stuff  on  their  camels,  and  rode 
away  as  fast  as  they  could,  so  as  not  to  be  robbed, 
and  we  did  not  find  any  party  strong  enough  to  at- 
tack us,  although  we  saw  a  great  many  tribes,  but 
they    were    very  poor  on  the  Zaharah^  or  great 


ilesart."  I  then  i.sked  him  how  the  face  of  the  de- 
sart  looked  in  general,  as  he  passed  over  it,  taking 
the  whole  together,  orif  tliere  was  any  material  dif- 
ference in  different  parts  of  it,  near  the  sea-coast  ? 
to  which  he  answered  : — 

"  The  whole   extent  of  the  desart  near  the  sea- 
coast,  is  like  that  we  came  over  in  bringing  you  up 
here,  except  in  one  place,  where  we  travelled  for 
nearly  one  moon,   without  meeting  with  so  much  as 
one  valley  with  green  bushes  in  it  for  the  camels  to 
feed  on :  the  whole  is  a  trackless  waste.     Close  by 
the  sea  we  were  obliged  to  pass  mountains  of  sand 
that  was  blown  up  from  the  shore  before  the  wind, 
but  the  guides  always  went  before  us,  to  show  which 
way  the  caravan  must  go,  and  to  find  a  place  to  stop 
in.     Our  camels  had  eaten  up  all  the  coals  we  had 
laid  upon  them  before  we  got  off  the   desart,  and 
two  of  them  had  died,  so  that  my  brother  and  I  had 
only  two  remaining,  but  we  kept  all  our  goods.     Af- 
ter we  had  rested  one  moon,  and  got  our  camels  re- 
cruited, we  set  off  to  the  east  on  the  border  of  the 
desart,  close  by  the  low  country,  with  mountains  in 
sight  to  the  south,  most  of  the   way,  and  in  two 
moons  more  we  came  near  Tombuctoo,  where  we 
stopped  in  a  deep  valley  with  the  caravan,  and  went 
every  day  close  to  the  strong  walls  of  the  city  with 
our  goods  (but  without  our  guns)  to  trade  them  off 
with  the  negroes,  who  had  gum,  and  gold  rings,  and 
gold  powder,  and  great  teeth,  such  as  are  sold  in 
Swearah,  (i.  e.  elephants'  teeth,)  and  slaves,  and  fine 
turbans :  they  had  plenty  of  cows,  and  asses,  and  a 
few  sheep,  and  barley,  corn,  and  rice ;  but  the  little 


river  that  runs  close  to  the  wall  on  the  west,  was 
quite  dry,  and  all  the  people  in  the  city  were  obliged 
to  fetch  water  for  themselves  to  drink,  with  asses, 
from  the  great  river  south  of  the  city,  (about  one 
hour's  ride  on  a  camel)  and  we  were  forced  to  go 
there  to  water  our  camels,  and  get  our  drink. 

"  After  staying  near  Tombuctoo  one  itioon  and  a 
half,  the  season  being  far  advanced,  we  set  out  again 
for  Widnoon.  I  had  not  been  in  the  city  all  the*  time 
we  stopped  here,  because  I  was  chosen  captain  of 
two  hundred  men  that  kept  guard  all  the  time  about 
the  caravan,  to  keep  otf  the  thievish  Arabs  and  the 
bands  of  negroes  that  were  hovering  around  us  to 
carry  off  our  camels,  if  any  of  them  strayed  aAvay; 
but  we  lost  only  twenty  during  our  whole  stay  at 
Tombuctoo,  and  the  Sheick  gave  me  for  my  trouble 
a  fine  young  negro  girl  slave,  which  I  carried  home 
with  me,  and  she  now  lives  with  my  wife.  We  set 
out  for  home  from  Tombuctoo  in  the  month  of 
Rhamadan.)  after  the  feast,  and  went  back  by  the 
same  route  we  had  come — that  is  to  say,  we  went 
iirst  to  the  west,  one  moon,  along  the  border  of  the 
desart.  We  durst  not  take  any  thing  without  pay- 
ing for  it,  because  we  were  afraid  of  the  inhabitants, 
who  were  a  mixture  of  Arabs  and  negroes,  and  all 
of  them  Mohammedans,  but  very  bad  men  :  they 
had  also  many*  white  men  slaves.  I  saw  sixteen  or 
eighteen  myself,  and  a  great  many  blacks.  These 
True  believers  have  very  fine  horses,  and  they  go 
south  to  the  country  of  the  rivers,  and  there  they 
attack  and  take  towns,  and  bring  away  all  the  ne- 
groes for  slaves,  if  they  will  not  believe  in  the  pro- 


phet  of  God ;  and  carry  off  all  their  cattle,  rice,  and 
corn,  and  burn  their  houses ;  but  if  they  will  adopt 
the  true  faith,  they  are  then  exempt  from  slavery, 
and  their  houses  are  spared,  upon  their  surrender- 
ing up  one-half  of  their  cattle,  and  half  of  their  rice 
and  corn;  because,  they  say, God  has  delivered  their 
enemies  into  their  hands.  The  negroes  live  in 
small  towns,  fenced  in  with  reeds  or  bushes,  and 
sometimes  with  stones,  but  the  Arabs  live  only  in 
tents,  and  can  move  off  in  a  minute  on  their  horses, 
whilst  their  wives  and  children  ride  en  camels  and 
asses.  Before  we  struck  off  N.  W.  on  the  desart 
for  the  sea  coast,  we  stopped  in  the  hill  country, 
and  fatted  our  camels,  and  burned  wood  to  make 
charcoal  to  carry  with  us :  we  were  encamped  on 
the  bank  of  a  little  river,  one  day's  journey  from  a 
large  town  of  nei^roes,  named  Jathrow.  I  did  not  go 
to  it,  but  the  Sheick  did,  and  bought  some  corn  and 
barley,  and  forty  oxen  for  our  provisions. 

"  After  we  had  prepared  our  coals,  and  laid  in  our 
provisions,  we  went  up  on  to  the  level  desart,  and 
set  off  to  the  N.  W.,  and  in  three  moons  and  a  half 
more  we  reached  Widnoon  again,  having  been  gone 
almost  a  year  and  a  half.  We  had  lost  about  five 
hundred  camels,  that  either  died,  or  were  killed  to 
give  us  meat,  and  while  we  stayed  at  Tombuctoo,  and 
were  coming  home,  thirty-four  of  our  men  had  died, 
and  we  lost  eighty  slaves."  I  asked  him  what  were 
the  goods  they  carried  down  at  that  time  ^  he  an- 
sw.ered : — 

"  We  had  about  one  hundred  camels  loaded  with 
iron  and  knives,  and  two  hundred  with  salt ;  all  the 


others  carried  haicks,  and  blue  and  white  cloth,  and 
amber,  and  tobacco,  and  silk  handkerchiefs,  and 
chilly  weed^  and  spices,  and  a  great  many  other  arti- 
cles. Seid  and  myself  had  lost  two  of  our  camels, 
but  had  got  two  negro  slaves,  and  some  gold  dust, 
worth  six  camels,  and  ornaments  for  our  wives ;  but 
Sheick  Ali  was  not  satisfied,  because  I  did  not  give 
him  two  slaves ;  so  that  he  made  war  against  me,  and 
battered  down  my  town  which  I  built,  (it  was  but  a 
small  one)  and  took  away  all  I  had,  together  with 
my  wife,  because  he  said  I  was  a  bad  man,  and  he 
was  stronger  than  me :  I  myself,  however,  escaped, 
and  after  one  year  I  asked  him  for  my  wife  again, 
and  he  gave  her  to  me  with  all  he  had  taken,  for  he 
loved  his  daughter :  but  I  had  no  house,  so  I  re- 
moved into  the  sultan's  dominions,  near  the  city  of 
Morocco,  close  by  the  Atlas  mountains,  and  lived 
there  with  my  father  and  brothers  two  years,  with- 
out going  forth  to  trade." 


Sidi  Hamet  sets  out  on  another  journey  for  Tombuctoo 
— the  caravan  is  mostly  destroyed  for  ivanf  of  water^ 
by  drifting  sand,  and  by  mutiny,  &c. — the  few  that 
escape,  get  to  the  south  of  the  desart. 

"  About  that  time  one  of  our  party,  when  we 
first  went  to  Tombuctoo,  named  bel  Moesc,  came  to 
see  me — he  was  going  to  join  the  caravan  at  Wid- 
noon  again,  and  persuaded  Seid  and  me  to  go  with 
hira ;  so  we  bought  eight  camels  between  us,  anil 


sold  off  our  cattle  and  sheep,  and  bought  goods  and 
powder,  and  went  with  him  to  Widnoon,  and  joined 
the  caravan.  Sheick  Ali  came  to  meet  me  like  a 
friend,  and  gave  me  two  camels  laden  with  barley, 
and  wished  me  a  safe  journey.  The  Sheick  who 
was  chosen  by  all  the  people  to  command  the  cara- 
van, was  named  Sidi  Ishrel ;  he  was  the  friend  of 
Sidi  Ishem,  who  owned  almost  one-half  of  the  whole 
caravan,  and  we  set  out  from  Widnoon,  with  about 
four  thousand  camels,  and  more  than  one  thousand 
men,  all  well  armed.  We  laid  in  an  abundant  store 
of  barley,  and  had  a  great  many  milch  camels,  and 
it  was  determined  to  go  south  across  the  desart, 
nearly  on  a  straight  course  for  Tombuctoo,  by  the 
way  the  great  caravans  generally  travelled;  though 
there  had  been  several  of  them  destroyed  on  that 
route,  that  is  to  say,  one  within  every  ten  or  twelve 
years.  We  went  to  the  south,  around  the  bottom 
of  the  great  Atlas  mountains,  six  days'  journey; 
then  we  stopped  close  by  it,  and  cut  wood  and  burn- 
ed coals  for  the  camels,  for  the  caravans  never  at- 
tempt to  cross  the  desart  without  this  article ;  four 
hundred  camels  out  of  the  number  were  loaded 
with  provisions  and  water  for  the  journey,  and  after 
having  rested  ten  days,  and  given  the  camels  plenty 
of  drink,  we  went  up  on  the  desart,  and  steered  off 
to  the  south-easterly.  We  travelled  along,  and  met 
with  no  sand  for  fifteen  days ;  it  was  all  a  smooth 
surface,  baked  together  so  hard,  that  a  loaded  camel 
could  not  make  a  track  on  it  to  be  seen :  we  saw  no 
tracks  to  guide  us,  and  kept  our  course  by  the  stars, 
and  sun,  and  moon.     We  found  only  one  spot  ia  all 

T  t 

322  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

that  time  where  our  camels  could  satisfy  their  appe- 
tites by  eating  the  shrubs  in  a  shallow  valley,  but 
the  great  well  in  it  was  filled  up  with  stones  and 
sand,  so  we  could  procure  no  water  there ;  at  the 
end  of  fifteen  days,  however,  we  came  to  a  very  fine 
deep  valley,  with  twenty  wells  in  it;  but  we  found 
water  in  only  six  of  them,  because  the  desart  was 
very  dry :  here  we  watered  all  our  camels,  and  re- 
plenished our  bottles  or  skins,  and  having  rested 
seven  days,  we  departed  for  the  south-eastward, 
our  camels  being  well  filled  with  leaves  and  thorn 

"  We  travelled  along  three  days  on  the  hard 
sand,  and  then  arrived  among  innumerable  drifts  of 
fine  loose  sand ;  not  such  coarse  sand  as  you  saw 
near  the  sea;  it  was  as  fine  as  the  dust  on  a  path, 
or  in  a  house,  and  the  camels'  feet  sunk  in  it  every 
step  up  to  their  knees :  after  travelling  amongst 
this  sand  (which  in  the  day-time  was  almost  as  hot 
as  coals  of  fire)  six  days,  there  began  to  blow  a 
fierce  wind  from  the  south-east,  called  the  wind  of;] 
the  desart,  bringing  death  and  destruction  with  it: 
we  could  not  advance  nor  retreat,  so  we  took  the 
loading  from  off  our  camels,  and  piled  it  in  one  great 
heap,  and  made  the  camels  lie  down.  The  dust 
flew  so  thick  that  we  could  not  see  each  other  nor 
our  camels,  and  were  scarcely  able  to  breathe — so 
we  laid  down  with  our  faces  in  the  dust,  and  cried 
aloud  with  one  voice  to  God — '  great  and  merciful 
God,  spare  our  lives !'  but  the  wind  blew  dreadfully 
for  the  space  of  two  days,  and  we  were  obliged  to 
move  ourselves  whenever  the  sand  got  so  heavy  on 


US  that  it  shut  out  all  the  air,  and  prevented  us  from 
breathing;  but  at  length  it  pleased  the  Most  High  to 
hear  our  supplications :  the  wind  ceased  to  blow;  all 
was  still  again,  and  we  crawled  out  of  the  sand  that 
had  buried  us  for  so  long  a  time,  but  not  all,  for 
when  the  company  was  numbered,  three  hundred 
were  missing — all  that  were  left  having  joined  in 
thanks  to  God  for  his  mercy  in  sparing  our  lives; — 
we  then  proceeded  to  dig  out  the  camels  from  the 
sand  that  had  buried  their  bodies,  which,  together 
with  the  reloading  of  them,  took  us  two  days. 
About  two  hundred  of  them  were  dead — there  was 
no  green  thing  to  be  seen,  and  we  were  obliged  to 
give  the  camels  a  little  water  from  the  skins,  to  wash 
their  parched  throats  with,  and  some  charcoal  to 
eat:  then  we  kept  on  twenty-four  days  as  fast  as 
we  could  through  the  dry,  deep,  and  hot  sand,  with- 
out finding  any  green  bushes  worth  noticing  for  our 
camels  to  eat,  when  we  came  to  a  famous  valley 
and  watering  place,  called  Haherah.  All  our  cam- 
els were  almost  expiring,  and  could  not  carry  the 
whole  of  their  loads;  so  we  threw  away  a  great  deal 
of  the  salt  before  we  got  to  Haherah^  where  we  in- 
tended to  stop  twenty  days  to  recruit  our  beasts,  but 
who  can  conceive  our  disappointment  and  distress, 
when  we  found  there  was  no  water  in  any  of  the 
wells  of  this  great  valley :  not  one  drop  of  rain  had 
fallen  there  for  the  last  year.  The  caravan,  that 
amounted  to  upwards  of  one  thousand  men  and  four 
thousand  camels  when  we  set  out,  was  already  re- 
duced to  about  six  hundred  men,  and  thirty-five  hun- 
dred camels.     The  authority  of  Sheick  Ishrel  coulel 


now  scarcely  restrain  those  almost  desperate  menj 
every  one  was  eager  to  save  his  own  life  and  pro- 
perty, and  separately  sought  the  means  of  relief  by 
running  about    the  valley  in   a    desultory  manner, 
lookins:  for  water;  this  disorder  continued  for  two 
days,  when   being  convinced  that  nothing  could  be 
done   without    union,    they  became   obedient,    and 
joined  together  in  great  numbers  in  digging  out  the 
diflferent    wells.     After    digging    five  days   without 
the  smallest  sign  of  water,  all  subordination  was  en- 
tirely at  an  end.     The  Sheick,  who  was  a  wise   and 
a  prudent    man,   advised  and   insisted  that  all  the 
camels  should  be  killed  but  three  hundred,   so  that 
the  little  water  found  in  tliem,  together  with  their 
blood,  might  keep  the  rest  alive,  as  well  as  all  the 
men,  until,  by  the  aid  of  Providence,   they   should 
reach  some  place  where  tliey  could  find  w^ater ;  but 
the    comoany   would   not    hearken    to   this   advice, 
though  the  best  that   could  possibly  be  given;  no 
one  being  willing  to  have  his  own  property  sacrificed. 
Sheich  Iskrel^  however,   directed  thirty  of  the  oldest 
and  most  judicious  men  to.  pick  out  the  three  hun- 
dred camels  that  were  to  be  spared,  who  according- 
ly selected  the  most  vigorous  ;  but  when  they  began 
to  kill  the  others.,  a  most  furious  quarrel  and  horri- 
ble battle  commenced.     The  Sheick,  though  a  man 
of  God,  w^as  killed  in  a  moment — two  or  three  hun- 
dred  more   were  butchered  by  each  other  in   the 
course  of  that   dreadful  day ;  and  the  blood  of  the 
slain  was  drank  to  allay  the  thirst  of  those  who  shed 
it.     Seid  was  badly  wounded  with  a  dagger  in  his 
arm :  about  five  hundred  camels  were  killed   this 


liay;  and 'the  others  drank  tlie  water  from   their 
bodies,  and  also  their  blood. 

"  Fearing  there  would  be  no  end  to  this  bloody 
conflict  until  all  had  perished,  and  as  I  had  been  a 
captain  in  the  other  caravan,  and  knew,  how  to  steer 
a  course  on  the  desart ;  and  as  both  Seid  and  myself 
were  very  strong  men,  we  killed  four  out  of  six  of 
our  own  camels  that  remained,  in  the  first  part  of  the 
night,  and  gave  their  water  and  blood  to  the  other 
two :  we  saved  a  small  package  of  goods,  and  some 
barley,  and  some  meat,  and  persuaded  thirty  of  our 
friends  privately  to  do  as  we  had  done,  and  join  us, 
for  we  meant  to  set  off  that  night.  This  was  agreed 
on,  for  to  stay  there  was  certain  death,  and  to  go 
back  was  no  less  so.  We  were  all  ready  about  mid- 
night, and  without  making  any  noise,  w^e  moved  off 
with  our  company  of  thirty  men  and  thirty-two 
camels.  The  night  was  very  cloudy  and  dark,  and 
it  thundered  at  a  distance,  as  if  the  Almighty  was 
angry  with  us  for  fighting  together;  but  there  was 
no  rain.  We  went  tow^ards  the  south-west,  in  the 
hope  of  reaching  Tishlah,  another  watering-place, 
before  our  camels  died :  the  desart  was  dry  and 
hard,  and  as  we  went  along,  we  found  only  now  and 
then  a  little  hollow,  with  a  few  prickly  shrubs  in  it : 
these  the  camels  devoured  as  we  passed  among 
them;  but  many  died,  so  that  on  the  twelfth  day  we 
had  only  eighteen  camels  left ;  when  the  great  God 
saved  our  lives  by  sending  a  tempest  of  rain,  but  he 
thundered  so  as  to  make  the  whole  earth  tremble, 
because  of  our  sins,  and  we  all  fell  upon  our  faces 
and  implored  his  forgiveness  :  the  rain  that  fell  upon 

326  » CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

the  ground  gave  plenty  of  water  to  our  camels,  and 
we  filled  thirty  skins  with  it;  when  we  steered  to 
the  south  towards  the  borders  of  the  desart.  Nine 
of  our  company  had  died,  and  many  of  our  camels, 
before  we  went  down  from  the  desart  to  the  culti- 
vated land,  and  we  then  made  to  the  south  towards 
a  little  river  of  fresh  water,  to  which  some  Arabs 
whom  we  met  with,  directed  us,  after  they  had  first 
given  us  some  rice  and  some  milk,  for  all  our  milch 
camels  had  died  on  the  desart. 


Sidi  Hamefs  journeyings.     His  arrival  on  the  ba?iks  of 
the  river,  called  by  the  natives,  Gozen-Zair,  and  at 
Tombuctoo — description  of  that  city — its  commerce, 
wealth,  and  inhabitants. 

"  Those  of  us  who  had  escaped  with  our  lives 
from  the  desart,  only  twenty-one  in  number,  with 
twelve  camels,  out  of  a  caravan  of  one  thousand 
men  and  four  thousand  camels,  stopped  near  a  small 
town,  called  Wabilt,  on  the  bank  of  a  river  about 
half  as  broad  as  from  the  city  of  Mogadore  to  the 
island,  that  is  to  say,  fifty  yards.  We  had  no  pro- 
visions, but  the  negroes  seeing  us  in  distress,  came 
out  and  ofave  us  some  meat,  and  bread  made  from 
barley-corn :  here  we  remained  ten  days  to  recruit 
ourselves  and  our  camels,  which  were  just  alive.  The 
river  on  whose  bank  we  remained,  was  called  by 
those  who  spoke  in  Arabic,  el  Wod  Te?nj,  and  by  the 
negroes,  Gozen-zair.     A  very  high  ridge  of  moun- 


tains,  great  like  Atlas  seen  from  Suse,  (but  not  cap- 
ped witlisnovv)  lie  to  the  south-westward,and  at  a  dis- 
tance. After  resting  ourselves  and  ourtaraels  for 
ten  days,  we  set  forward  for  Tombuctoo.  We  trav- 
elled for  four  days  to  the  eastward  through  Soudan, 
a  hilly  country,  but  of  a  very  rich  soil,  and  much  of 
it  cultivated  with  the  hoe."  I  then  asked  him  what 
he  meant  by  Soudan.^  and  he  said,  "  The  whole  coun- 
try south  of  the  great  desart  from  the  great  ocean, 
a  great  way  cast,  and  including  the  district  of  Tom- 
buctoo, is  called  by  the  Arabs  and  Moors,  Soudan: 
of  which  Tombuctoo  is  the  capital.  Having  wa- 
tered our  camels  again,  and  finding  the  hill  country 
tedious  to  get  through,  by  reason  of  the  trees,  we 
bought  some  barley-corn,  and  killed  two  cows,  and 
went  northward  to  the  border  of  the  desart,  and 
travelled  on  to  the  eastward  for  eight  days,  when 
we  fell  in  with  the  great  path  used  by  the  caravans, 
and  in  two  days  more  came  near  to  the  walls  of 
Tombuctoo.  ^^  e  had  seen  a  great  many  negroes 
near  the  river:  they  live  in  small  towns,  fenced  in 
with  large  reeds,  to  keep  off  enemies  and  the  wild 
beasts  in  the  night:  they  dwell  in  small  round  huts 
made  with  cane  standing  upright,  are  covered  with 
the  same  materials,  and  daubed  with  mud,  to  fill  up 
the  openings  between  them.  The  negroes  were 
afraid  of  us  when  we  came  near  their  little  towns, 
and  those  who  were  outside  ran  in  and  blocked  up 
the  passage  in  a  minute ;  but  finding  we  did  not 
come  to  rob  them,  as  the  large  companies  of  Arabs 
often  do,  but  that  we  were  poor  and  hungry,  thej 
were  willing  to  exchange  barley-corn  and  meat  for 

328  CAPTAIN  riley's  narratre. 

some  of  our  goods.    Nearly  all  the  few  things  we  had 
were  expended  to  keep  us  alive  until  we  came  near 
Tombuctof).  The  king  and  the  people  of  that  city  had 
been  looking  out  for  the  caravan  from  Widnoon  for  two 
moons,  but  not  one  soul  had  arrived  before  us,  and 
we  were  permitted  to  go  into  the  city  after  deliver ino- 
up  our  guns,  powder,  and  lead,  to  the  king's  officers 
to  keep  until  we  should  wish  to  depart.     Tombuctoo 
is  a  very  large  city,  five  times  as  great  as  Swearah: 
it  is  built  on  a  level  plain,   surrounded   on   all   sides 
by  hills,  except  on  the  south,  where   the  plain  con- 
tinues to  the  bank  of  the  same  river  we  had  been  to 
before,  which  is  wide  and  deep,  and  runs  to  the  east; 
for  we  were  obliged  to  go  to  it  to  water  our  camels, 
and  here   we  saw  many  boats  made  of  great  trees, 
some  with  negroes  in  them  paddling  across  the  river. 
The  city    is  strongly  walled   in  with   stone  laid   in 
clay,  like  the  towns  and  houses  in  Suse,  only  a  great 
deal  thicker :  the  house  of  the   king  is   very  large 
and  high,  like  the  largest   house  in  Mogadore,   but 
built  of  the  same  materials  as  the  walls:    there  are 
a  great  many  more  houses  in  that  city  built  of  stone, 
with  shops  on  one  side,   where  they    sell   salt    and 
knives,  and  blue  cloth,  and  haicks,  and  an  abundance 
of  other  things,  with  many  gold   ornaments.     The 
inhabitants  are  blacks,  and  the  chief  is  a  very  large 
and  gray-headed  old  blackman,  who  is  called  Shegar, 
which  means  sultan,  or  king.     The  principal  part 
of  the  houses  are  made  with  large  reeds,  as  thick  as 
a  man's  arm,  and  stand   upon   their  ends,   and  are 
covered  with  small  reeds   iirst,   and   then  with  the 
leaves  of  the  date  trees:    they  are  round,  and  the 


tops  come  to  a  point  like  a  heap  of  stones.  Neither 
the  Shegar  nor  his  people  are  Moslemins,  but  there 
is  a  town  divided  off  from  the  principal  one,  in  one 
corner,  bj  a  strong  pai'tition  wall,  and  one  gate  to 
it,  which  leads  from  the  main  town,  like  the  Jews' 
town,  or  Mi  11  ah  in  Mogfadore  :  all  the  Moors  or 
Arabs  who  have  liberty  to  come  into  Tombuctoo, 
are  obliged  to  sleep  in  that  part  of  it  every  night, 
or  go  out  of  the  city  entirely,  and  no  stranger  is 
allowed  to  enter  that  Millah  without  leaving  his 
knife  with  the  gate-keeper;  but  when  he  comes  out 
in  the  morning  it  is  restored  to  him.  The  people 
who  live  in  that  part  are  all  Moslemin.  The  negroes, 
bad  Arabs,  and  Moors,  are  all  mixed  together,  and 
marry  with  each  other,  as  if  they  were  all  of  one 
colour:  they  have  no  property  of  consequence,  ex- 
cept a  few  asses;  their  gate  is  shut  and  fastened 
every  night  at  dark,  and  very  strongly  guarded  both 
in  the  night  and  in  the  day-time.  The  Shegar  or 
king  is  always  guarded  by  one  hundred  men  on  mules, 
armed  with  good  guns,  and  one  hundred  men  on  foot, 
with  guns  and  long  knives.  He  would  not  go  into 
the  Millah,  and  we  only  saw  him  four  or  five  times 
in  the  two  moons  we  stayed  at  Tombuctoo,  waiting 
for  the  caravan :  but  it  had  perished  on  the  desart — 
neither  did  the  yearly  caravan  from  Tunis  and  Tri- 
poli arrive,  for  it  had  also  been  destroyed.  The  city 
of  Tombuctoo  is  very  rich  as  well  as  very  large ;  it 
has  four  gates  to  it;  all  of  them  are  opened  in  the  day- 
time, but  very  strongly  guarded  and  shut  at  night. 
The  negro  women  are  very  fat  and  handsome,  and 
wear  large  round  gold  rings  in  their  noses,  and  flat 

u  u 


ones  in  their  ears,  and  gold  chains  and  amber  beads 
about  their  necks,  with  images  and  white  fish-bones, 
bent  round,  and  the  ends  fastened  together,  hanging 
down  between  their  breasts;  they  have  bracelets  on 
their  wrists  and  on  their  ankles,   and  go  barefoot. 
I  had  bought  a  small  snuff-box  filled  with  snuff  in 
Morocco,  and  showed  it  to  the  women  in  the  princi- 
pal street  of  Tombuctoo,  which  is  very  wide  :  there 
were  a  great  many  about  me  in  a  few  minutes,  and 
they  insisted  on  buying  my  snuff  and  box  ; — one  made 
me  one  offer,  and  another  made  me  another,  until  one, 
who  wore  richer  onaments  than  the  rest,  told  me,  in 
broken  Arabic,  that  she  would  take  off   all  she  had 
about  her  and  give  them  to  me  for  the  box  and  its 
contents.    I  agreed  to  accept  them,  and  she  pulled  off 
h^v  nose-rings  and  ear-rings,  all  her  neck  chains,  with 
their  ornaments,   and  the  bracelets  from  her  wrists 
and  ankles,  and  gave  them  to  me  in  exchange  for  it : 
these  ornaments  would  Aveigh  more   than  a  pound, 
and  were  njade  of  solid  gold  at  Tombuctoo,  and  I 
kept  them  through  my  whole  journey  afterwards, 
and  carried  them  to  my  wife,  who  now  wears  a  part 
of  them.     Tombuctoo  carries  on  a  great  trade  with 
all  the  caravans  that  come   from  Morocco   and  the 
shores   of  the    Mediterranean  sea.     From  Algiers, 
Tunis,  Tripoli,  &c.  are  brought  all  kinds  of  cloths, 
iron,  salt,  muskets,  powder,  and  lead,  swords  or  scim- 
itars, tobacco,  opium,  spices,  and   perfumes,   amber 
beads  and  other  trinkets,  with  a  few  other  articles; 
thfey  car/y  back  in  return  elephants'  teeth,  gold  dust, 
and  wrought   gold,  gum  Senegal,    ostrich  feathers, 
very  curiously  worked  turbans,  and  slaves;  a  great 


many  of  the  latter,  and  many  other  articles  of  less 
importance :  the  slaves  are  brought  in  from  the 
south-west,  all  strongly  ironed,  and  are  sold  very 
cheap;  so  that  a  good  stout  man  may  be  bought  for 
a  haick,  which  costs  in  the  empire  of  Morocco  about 
two  dollars.  The  caravans  stop  and  encamp  about 
two  miles  from  the  city  in  a  deep  valley,  and  the  ne- 
groes do  not  molest  them  ;  they  bring  their  merchan- 
dise near  the  walls  of  the  city,  where  the  inhabitants 
purchase  all  their  goods  in  exchange  for  the  above- 
mentioned  articles;  not  more  than  fifty  men  from 
any  one  caravan  being  allowed  to  enter  the  city  at  a 
time,  and  they  must  go  out  before  others  are  permit- 
ted to  enter.  This  city  also  carries  on  a  great  trade 
with  Wassanah,  (a  city  far  to  the  south-east)  in  all 
the  articles  that  are  brought  to  it  by  caravans,  and 
get  returns  in  slaves,  elephants'  teeth,  gold,  &c. 
The  principal  male  inhabitants  are  clothed  with  blue 
cloth  shirts,  that  reach  from  their  shoulders  down  to 
their  knees,  and  are  very  wide,  and  girt  about  their 
loins  with  a  red  and  brown  cotton  sash  or  girdle  : 
they  also  hang  about  their  bodies  pieces  of  different 
coloured  cloth  and  silk  handkerchiefs:  the  king  is 
dressed  in  a  white  robe  of  a  similar  fashion,  but 
covered  with  white  and  yellow  gold  and  silver  plates, 
that  glitter  in  the  sun; — he  also  has  many  other  shin- 
ing ornaments  of  shells  and  stones  hanging  about 
him,  and  wears  a  pair  of  breeches  like  the  Moors 
and  Barbary  Jews,  and  has  a  kind  of  white  turban 
on  his  head,  pointing  up,  and  strung  with  different 
kinds  of  ornaments;  his  feet  are  covered  with  red 
Morocco  shoes :  he  has  no  other  weapon  about  him 


than  a  large  white  staff  or  sceptre,  with  a  golden 
lion  on  the  head  of  it,  which  he  carries  in  his  hand: 
his  whole  countenance  is  mild,  and  he  seems  to  go- 
vern his  subjects  more  like  a  father  than  a  king. 
The  whole  of  his  officers  and  Q^uards  wear  breeches 
that  are  generally  dyed  red,  but  sometimes  they  are 
■white  or  blue :  all  but  the  king  go  bareheaded. 
The  poor  people  have  only  a  single  piece  of  blue  or 
other  cloth  about  them,  and  the  slaves  a  breech  cloth. 
The  inhabitants  in  Tombuctoo  are  very  numerous; 
I  think  six  times  as  many  as  in  Swearah,  besides  the 
Arabs  and  other  Moslemin  or  Mohammedans,  in 
their  Millah,  or  separate  town ;  which  must  contain 
nearly  as  many  people  as  there  are  altogether  in 


Swearah  or  Mogadore  contains  about  thirty-six 
thousand  souls ;  that  is,  thirty  thousand  Moors  and 
six  thousand  Jews  :  this  may  be  a  high  estimation  for 
Tombuctoo;  making  it  two  hundred  and  sixteen  thou- 
sand inhabitants;  yet  considering  the  commercial  im- 
portance of  the  place,  and  the  fertility  of  the  country 
around  it,  there  can  be  no  doubt  but  it  contains  a  vast 
number  of  inhabitants ;  and  I  must  also  observe,  that 
if  it  was  a  small  town,  and  contained  the  riches  attri- 
buted to  it,  they  would  require  a  very  strong  force  to 
prevent  the  Arabs  from  the  desart,  together  with  the 
caravans,  from  taking  it  by  surprise  or  by  storm. 

"  The  women  are  clothed  in  a  light  shirt  or  un- 
der-dress, and  over  it  a  green,  red,  or  blue  covering, 


from  their  breasts  to  below  their  knees — the  whole 
girt  about  their  waists  with  a  red  girdle;  they  stain 
their  cheeks  and  foreheads  red  or  yellow  on  some 
occasions,  and  the  married  women  wear  a  kind  of 
hood  on  their  heads,  made  of  blue  cloth,  or  silk,  and 
cotton  handkerchiefs  of  diiferent  kinds  and  colours, 
and  go  barefooted.  The  king  and  people  of  Tom- 
buctoo  do  not  fear  and  worship  God,  Hke  the  Mosle- 
rains,  but  lik-e  the  people  of  Soudan,  they  only  pray 
one  time  in  twenty-fourhours,  when  they  see  the  moon, 
and  when  she  is  not  seen  they  do  not  pray  at  all : 
they  cannot  read  or  write,  but  are  honest,  and  they 
circumcise  their  children  like  the  Arabs :  they  have 
no  mosques,  but  dance  every  night,  as  the  Moors 
and  Arabs  pray.  The  Shegar  or  king  had  collected 
about  one  thousand  slaves,  some  gums,  elephants' 
teeth,  gold  dust,  &;c.  to  be  ready  for  the  yearly  cara- 
vans;  but  as  three  moons  had  passed  away  since 
the  time  they  ought  to  have  arrived,  he  gave  them 
up  for  lost,  and  concluded  to  send  a  caravan  with 
part  of  his  gopds  that  came  across  the  desart ;  viz. 
some  salt,  iron,  cloths,  &c.  to  a  large  city  at  a  great 
distance  from  Tombuctoo  :  and  having  formed  a  body 
of  about  three  thousand  men,  well  armed  with  mus- 
kets, long  knives,  and  spears,  and  three  thousand 
asses,  and  about  two  hundred  camels,  which  were  all 
loaded  with  heavy  goods,  such  as  iron,  salt,  tobacco, 
&c.,  he  hired  my  brother  Seid  and  myself  (with  ten 
more  of  our  companions)  to  carry  loads  on  our  two 
camels  to  Wassanah,  for  which  he  was  to  give  us, 
when  we  came  back,  two  haicks  each  and  some  gold. 
As   we    were    completely   in   his   power,    we    did 

334  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

Hot  dare  to  refuse  to  go,  and  he  put  us  under  the  care 
of  his  brother,  whose  name  was  Shelbaa,  who  had 
command  of  the   whole   caravan.      It  was   in  the 

month  of  Shual  ( )  when  we  departed  from 

Tombuctoo  for  a  place  we  had  never  before  heard 
of  We  had  in  the  company  about  two  hundred 
Moslemin,  but  the  master  of  the  caravan  would  not 
permit  us,  Moslemin,  to  keep  our  guns,  for  fear  we 
should  him  against  him,  if  he  was  obliged  to  fight.'''' 


Sidi  Hamet  sets  out  for  Wassanah — his  arrival  there,  and 
description  of  that  city,  the  country,  and  its  inhabitants 
— of  the  great  river  which  runs  near  it,  and  of  his  return 
to  Tombuctoo — containing  also  the  author'' s  geographi- 
cal opinions,  founded  on  this  narrative,  on  the  sources 
of  the  river  JYiger — its  length,  course,  and  outlet,  into 
the  Atlantic  ocean. 

"  All  being  prepared,  we  went  from  Tombuctoo, 
about  two  hours'  ride,  towards  the  south,  to  the  bank 
of  the  river,  which  is  called  at  that  place  Zolibib,  and 
was  wider  than  from  Mogadore  to  the  island ;  (i.  e. 
about  five  hundred  yards;)  here  was  a  miserable 
village,  built  with  canes,  and  mudded  over:  it  had 
about  two  hundred  small  houses  in  it,  but  no  walls: 
we  then  setoffnear  the  side  of  the  river,  and  travelled 
on  in  a  plain  even  country  for  six  days,  every  day 
within  sight  of  the  river,  which  was  on  our  right  hand, 
and  running  the  same  way  we  travelled,  and  our 
course  was  a  little  to  the  south  of  east  -,  when  we 


came  to  a  small  town,  called  Bimbinah^  walled  in  with 
eanes  and  thorn-hushes,  and  stopped  two  days  near 
it,  to  ^ei  provisions  and  rest  our  beasts :  here  the 
river  turned  more  to  the  south-eastward,  because 
there  was  a  very  high  mountain  in  sight  to  the  east- 
ward :  we  then  went  from  the  river  side,  and  pursued 
our  journey  more  southwardly,  through  a  hilly  and 
woody  country,  for  fifteen  days,  when  we  came  to  the 
same  river  again.  Every  night  we  were  obliged  to 
make  up  large  fires  all  around  the  caravan,  to  keep 
oflTthe  wild  beasts,  such  as  lions,  tigers,  and  others, 
which  made  a  dreadful  howling.  Here  was  a  small 
town  of  black  "people  belonging  to  another  nation, 
who  were  enemies  to  the  king  of  Tombuctoo,  but 
were  friendly  to  the  king  of  Wassanah;  and  not 
being  strong,  they  did  not  molest  us,  but  furnished 
us  with  what  corn  we  wanted,  and  twenty  oxen. 
We  saw  a  large  number  of  armed  black  men,  nearly 
naked,on  the  other  side  of  the  river,  who  seemed  to  be 
hostile,  but  they  could  not  get  across  to  attack  us : 
we  also  saw  two  very  large  towns,  but  walled  in  like 
the  others  we  had  passed:  we  stopped  here,  and 
rested  our  camels  and  asses  five  days,  and  then  went 
onward  again  in  about  a  S.  E.  direction,  winding,  as 
the  river  ran,  for  three  days ;  and  then  had  to  clynb 
over  a  very  high  ridge  of  mountains,  which  took  up 
six  days,  and  when  we  were  on  the  top  of  them,  we 
could  see  a  large  chain  of  high  mountains  to  the 
westward :  those  we  passed  were  thickly  covered 
with  very  large  trees,  .and  it  was  extremely  difficult 
to  get  up  and  down  them ;  but  we  could  not  go  any 
other  way,  for  the  river  ran  against  the  steep  side  of 


the  mountain ;  so  having,  gotten  over  them,  we  came 
to  the  river's  bank  again,  where  vt  was  very  narrow 
and  full  of  rocks,  tliat  dashed  the  water  dreadfully: 
then  finding  a  o-ood  path,  we  kept  on  to  the  S.  E.  wind- 
ing a  little  every  day,  sometimes  more  to  the  east, 
then  to  the  south  again :  we  kept  travelling  this  way 
for  twelve  days  after  leaving  the  mountains,  during 
which  time  we  had  seen  the  river  nearly  every  day 
on  our  right  hand,  and  had  passed  a  great  many 
small  streams  that  empty  into  it :  it  was  now  very 
wide,  and  looked  deep — here  we  saw  many  trees 
dug  out  hollow,  like  the  boats  at  Tombuctoo,  and 
they  were  used  to  carry  negroes  across  the  river, 
and  were  pushed  along  with  flat  pieces  of  wood:  we 
also  saw  the  high  mountains  on  the  west  side  of  the 
great  river,  very  plainly.  Having  rested  seven  davs 
at  the  ferrying-place,  we  then  travelled  on  for  fifteen 
days,  most  of  the  time  in  sight  of  the  river.  When  we 
came  close  to  the  walls  of  the  city  of  Wassanah, 
the  king  came  out  with  a  great  army,  consisting  of 
all  his  soldiers,  to  meet  us,  but  finding  we  had  only 
come  to  trade  by  the  orders  of,  and  with  the  goods  of, 
his  friend  Shegar  of  Tombuctoo,  he  invited  the  chief, 
and  the  whole  of  the  caravan,  to  abide  within  a  square 
enclosure,  near  the  walls  of  the  city :  here  we  re- 
mained two  moons,  exchanging  our  goods  for  slaves, 
gold,  elephants'  teeth,  &c. 

"  The  city  of  Wassanah  is  built  near  the  bank  of 
the"  river,  which  runs  past  it  nearly  south,  between 
high  mountains  on  both  sides,,  though  not  very  close 
to  the  river,  which  is  so  wide  there  that  we  could 
hardly  see  a  man  across  it  on  the  other  side:  the 


people  of  Tombuctoo  call  it  Zolibib,  and  those  of 
Wassanah  call  it  Zadi.     The  walls  of  the  city  are 
yery  large,  and  made  of  great  stones,  laid  up  like  the 
stone  fences  in  the  province  of  Hah  Hah,  in  Moroc- 
co,  but  without  any  clay  or  mud   amongst  them : 
they  are  very  thick  and  strong,   and  much  higher 
than  the  walls  of  Tombuctoo.     I  was  permitted  to 
walk  round  them  in  company  with  six  negroes,  and 
it  took  me  one  whole  day :  the  walls  are  built  square, 
and  have  one  large  gate  on  each  side.     The  country 
all  around  the  city  is  dug  up,  and  has  barley,  corn, 
and  other  vegetables  planted  on  it ;  and  close  by  the 
side  of  the  river,  all  the  land  is  covered  with  rice, 
and  there  are  a  great  many  oxen,  and  cows,  and 
asses,   belonging   to   the  city,  but  no  camels,  nor 
horses,  mules,  sheep,  nor  goats,  but  all  about  and  in 
the  city,  speckled  fowls  abound,  and  there  are  plenty 
of  eggs.     The  people  of  the  caravan  were  allowed 
to  enter  the  city,  but  only  twenty  at  a  time,  and 
they  were  all  obliged  to  go  out  again  before  night. 
"  We  had  been  there  more  than  a  moon,  when  it 
came  to  my  turn  to  go  in.     I  found  almost  the  whole 
of  the  ground  inside  of  the  walls  was  covered  with 
huts  made  of  stones  piled  up  without  clay,  and  some 
reeds,  laid  across  the  tops,  covered  over  with  the 
large  leaves  of  the  date  or  palm  tree,  or  of  another 
free  which  looks  very  much  like  a  date  tree,  and  bears 
a  fruit  as  large  as  my  head,  which  has  a  white  juice 
in  it  sweeter  than  milk ;  the  inside  is  hard,  and  very 
good  to  eat :  the  trees  that  bear  this  big  fruit,  grow 
in  abundance  in  this  country,  and  their  fruit  is  very 
plenty:  their  huts  have  narrow  passages  betweea 

X  X 

338  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

them :  tlie  king  or  chief  is  called  Oleeboo,  which 
means,  in  the  negro  talk,  good  sphan :  he  is  a  very 
tall,  and  quite  a  young  man;  his  house  is  very  large, 
square,  and  high,  made  of  stone,  and  the  chinks  fdled 
up  with  something  white  like  lime,  but  not  so  liard  : 
they  would  not  let  me  go  into  his  house,  and  told 
me  he  had  one  hundred  and  fifty  wives,  or  more,  and 
ten  thousand  slaves  :  he  dresses  in  a  white  shirt,  that 
looks  like  the  one  worn  by  Mr.  Willshire,  and  long 
trowsers  made  like  them  you  have  on,  and  coloured 
like  an  orange."  Those  I  then  had  on,  were  com- 
mon wide  sailor  trowsers.  "  He  has  over  his  shirt 
a  caftan  or  robe  with  sleeves  to  it,  made  of  red 
cloth,  tied  about  with  a  girdle  that  goes  from  his 
breast  to  his  hips,  made  of  silk  handkerchiefs  of  ail 
colours,  and  has  slips  of  fine  coloured  silk  tied  round 
his  arms  and  legs :  his  hair  is  also  tied  in  small 
bunches,  and  he  wears  on  his  head  a  very  high  hat 
made  of  canes,  coloured  very  handsomely,  and 
adorned  with  fine  feathers:  he  has  sandals  on  his 
feet,  bound  up  with  gold  chains,  and  a  great  gold 
cliain  over  his  shoulder,  with  a  bunch  of  ornaments 
made  of  briglit  stones  and  shells,  that  dazzle  the 
eyes,  barging  on  his  breast,  and  wears  a  large  dag- 
ger by  his  side  in  a  gold  case.  He  rides  on  the 
back  of  a  huge  beast,  called  Ilfemcnt,  three  times  as 
thick  as  my  great  camel,  and  a  great  deal  higher, 
with  a  very  King  nose  and  great  teeth,  and  almost  as 
black  as  the  negroes :  ho  is  so  strong,  that  he  c  an 
kill  an  hundred  men  in  a  minute  when  he  is  mad — 
this  is  the  ani«nal  that  the  teeth  grow  in  which  we 
bring  from  Tombuctoo  to  Widnoon,  which  you  call 


elephants'  teeth,  and  this  was  the  only  one  of  the 
animals  \  ever  saw,  but  they  told  me  these  creatures 
were  very  plenty  down  the  river  from  Wassanah." 
This  answers  to  the  description  of,  and  no  doubt  is, 
the  elephant. 

"  The  kino'   of  Wassanah  has    a  puard   of  two 
hundred    negroes    on   foot,    one    hundred   of  them 
armed  with  muskets,  fifty  with  long  spears,  and  fifty 
with  great  bows  and  arrows,  with  long   knives  by 
their   sides:  they  always  attend  him  when  he  goes 
out  on  his  beast;  he  has  also  a  very  large  array: 
they  fight  with  guns,  spears,   and  bows  and  arrows. 
The   city  has  twice   as   many  inhabitants  in   it    as 
Tombuctoo,  and   we  saw  a  great  many  towns  near 
it  on  the  other  side  of  the  river,  as  well  as  several 
small  settlements  on   the   same    side    below.     The 
king  nor  the  people  do  not  pray  like  the  Moslemins, 
but  they  jump  about,  fall  down,   tear  their  faces  as 
if  they  were  mad  when  any  of  their  friends  die,  and 
every  time   they  see  the  new   moon,  they  make  a 
great  feast,  and  dance  all   night  to  music  made  by 
singing  and  beating  on  skins  tied  across  a  hollow 
stick,  and  shaking  little  stones  in  a  bag  or  shell;  but 
they   do    not   read    nor    write,    and    are    heathens. 
'  Though  the  free  people  in  this  place,  do  not  steal, 
and  are  very  hospitable,  yet  I  hope  the  time  is  near 
when  the  faithful,  and  they  that  fear  God  and  his 
prophet,  will   turn  them  to  the  true  belief,  or  drive 
them  away  from  this  goodly  land. 

"  The  principal  inhabitants  of  Wassanah  are  dress- 
ed in  shirts  of  white  or  blue  cloth,  with  short  trow- 
sers,  and  some  with  a  long;  robe  over  the  whole,  tied 


about  with  a  girdle  of  different  colours :  the  tree 
females  are  generally  very  fat,  and  dress  in  blue  or 
white  coverings  tied  about  their  vv^aists  with  girdles 
of  all  colours :  they  wear  a  great  many  ornaments 
of  gold,  and  beads,  and  shells,  hanging  to  their  ears 
and  noses,  necks,  arms,  ankles,  and  all  over  their 
hair ;  but  the  poorer  sort  are  only  covered  about  their 
loins  by  a  cloth  which  grows  on  the  tree  that  bears 
the  big  fruit  I  have  told  you  about  before."  This  fruit, 
I  imagine,  must  be  the  cocoa-nut,  and  I  have  often 
in  the  West  Indies,  and  elsewhere,  observed  the 
outer  bark  of  this  singular  palm-tree  :  it  is  woven 
by  nature  like  cloth,  each  thread  being  placed  ex- 
actly over  and  under  the  others.  It  appears  like 
regular  wove  coarse  bagging,  and  is  quite  strong  : 
it  loosens  and  drops  from  the  trunk  of  the  tree  of  its 
own  accord,  as  the  tree  increases  in  size  and  age. 
I  had  long  before  considered  that  this  most  singular 
bark  must  have  suo-orested  to  man  the  first  idea  of 
cloth,  and  taught  him  how  to  spin,  and  place  the 
threads  so  as  to  form  it  of  other  materials  that  have 
since  been  used  for  that  purpose,  and  this  first  hint 
from  nature  has  been  improved  into  our  present  me- 
thods of  spinning  and  weaving. 

"  The  male  slaves  go  entirely  naked,  but  the 
women  are  allowed  a  piece  of  this  cJoth  to  cover 
their  nakedness  with :  they  are  very  numerous,  and 
many  of  them  kept  chained :  they  are  obliged  to 
work  the  earth  round  about  the  city.  The  inhabi- 
tants catch  a  great  many  fish :  they  have  boats  made 
of  great  trees,  cut  off  and  hollowed  out,  that  will 
hold  ten,  fifteen,  or  twenty  negroes,  and  the  brother 


of  the  king  told  one  of  my  Moslemin  companions 
who  could  understand  him,  (for  I  could  not,)  that 
he  was  going  to  set  out  in  a  few  days  with  sixty 
boats,  and  to  carry  five  hundred  slaves  down  the 
river,  first  to  the  southward,  and  then  to  the  west- 
ward, where  they  should  come  to  the  great  water, 
and  sell  them  to  pale  people  who  came  there  in 
great  boats,  and  brought  muskets,  and  powder,  and 
tobacco,  and  blue  cloth,  and  knives,  &ic. — he  said  it 
was  a  great  way,  and  would  take  him  three  moons 
to  get  there,  and  he  should  be  gone  twenty  moons 
before  he  could  get  back  by  land,  but  should  be  very 
rich."  I  then  asked  him  how  many  boats  he  sup- 
posed there  were  in  the  river  at  Wassanah?  he 
said: — "A  great  many,  three  or  four  hundred,  I 
should  think;  but  some  of  them  are  very  small:  we 
saw  a  great  many  of  these  people  who  had  been 
down  the  river  to  see  the  great  water,  with  slaves 
and  teeth,  and  came  back  again  :  they  said,  the  pale 
people  lived  in  great  boats,  and  had  guns  as  big  as 
their  bodies,  that  made  a  noise  hke  thunder,  and 
would  kill  all  the  people  in  a  hundred  negro  boats, 
if  they  went  too  near  tfeem :  we  saw  in  the  river 
and  on  the  bank  a  great  number  of  fish,  with  legs 
and  large  mouths,  and  these  would  run  into  the 
water  in  a  minute,  if  any  man  went  near  them,  but 
they  told  us  they  would  catch  children,  and  some- 
times men,  when  in  the  boats :  (these  are,  no  doubt, 
crocodiles  or  hippopotamus',)  the  negroes  are  very 
kind,  and  would  always  give  us  barley,  corn,  or  rice, 
milk  or  meat,  if  we  were  hungry,  though  we  could 
not  speak  a  language  they  understood.     While  wc 


stopped  at  Wassanah,  it  rained  almost  every  day. 
Having  traded  away  all  the  goods  we  carried  there, 
Shelbar  took  three  hundred  slaves  and  a  great  many 
teeth,  dazzling  stones,  and  shells,  and  gold ;  with 
the^e  we  set  off  again,  and  went  the  same  way 
back  to  Tombuctoo,  which  took  us  three  moons,  and 
we  were  gone  from  the  time  we  left  it,  to  the  time 
we  returned,  eight  moons.  On  my  arrival  at  Tom- 
buctoo, we  were  paid  by  the  chief  of  the  caravan 
according  to  promise,  and  a  few  days  afterwards  a 
caravan  arrived  there  from  Tunis,  which  we  joined 
to  return  by  that  way  to  our  own  country." 

I  must  here  beo-  the  reader's  indulo-ence  for  a 
moment,  in  order  to  make  some  remarks,  and  a  few 
geographical  observations  that  this  part  of  the  narra- 
tive has  suggested.  This  narrative  I,  for  my  own 
part,  consider  strictly  true  and  correct,  as  far  as 
the  memory  and  judgment  of  Sidi  Hamet  were  con- 
cerned, whose  veracity  and  intelligence  I  had  before 
tested :  he  had  not  the  least  inducement  held  out  to 
him  for  giving  this  account,  further  than  my  own 
and  Mr.  Willshire's  curiosity;  and  his  description  of 
Tombuctoo  agrees  in  subitance  with  that  given  by 
several  Moors,  (Fez  merchants)  who  came  to  Mr. 
Willshire's  house  to  buy  goods  while  Sidi  Hamet 
was  there,  and  who  said  they  had  known  him  in 
Tombuctoo  several  years  ago.  From  these  consi- 
derations combined,  and  after  examining  the  best 
maps  extant,  I  conclude  that  I  have  strong  grounds 
on  which  to  found  the  following  geographical  opi- 
nions, viz.  • 


•1st,  That  the  great  Desart  is  much  higher  land 
on  its  southern  side  (as  I  had  proved  it  to  be  on  the 
north  by.  my  own  observations)  than  the  sur- 
rounding country,  and  consequently  that  its  whole 
surface  is  much  higher  than  the  land  near  it 
that  is  susceptible  of  cultivation.  2dly,  That 
the  river  which  Sidi  Hamet  and  his  compan- 
ions came  to  within  fourteen  days  ride,  and  west  of 
Tombuctoo,  called  by  the  Arabs  el  Wod  Tenij,  and 
by  the  negroes,  Gozen-Zair,  takes  its  rise  in  the 
mountains  south  of,  and  bordering  on,  the  great 
Desart,  being  probably  the  northern  branch  of  that 
extensive  ridge  in  which  the  Senegal,  Gambia,  and 
Niger  rivers,  have  their  sources;  and  that  this  river 
is  a  branch  of  the  Niger,  which  runs  eastwardly  for 
several  hundred  miles  to  Tombuctoo',  near  which 
city,  many  branches,  uniting  in  one  great  stream,  it 
takes  the  name  of  Zolibib^  and  continues  to  run 
nearly  east,  about  two  hundred  and  fifty  miles  from 
Tombuctoo ;  when  meeting  with  .high  land,  it  is 
turned  more  south-eastwardly,  and  running  in  that 
direction  in  a  winding  course,  about  five  hundred 
miles,  it  has  met  with  some  obstructions,  through 
which  it  has  forced  its  way,  and  formed  a  consider- 
able fall :  for  Sidi  Hamet,  having  spent  six  days  in 
passing  the  mountains,  came  again  near  the  river, 
which  was  then  filled  with  broken  rocks,  and  the 
water  Avas  foaming  and  roaring  among  them,  as  he 
observed,  "  most  dreadfully."  This  must  be  a  fall 
or  rapid.  3dly,  That  from  these  falls,  it  runs  first 
to  the  south-eastward,  and  then  more  to  the  south, 
till  it  reaches  Wassanah,  about  six  hundred  miles. 


where  it  is  by  some  called   Zolibib^   and  by  others 
Zadi.     4thly,  That  as  thennhabitants  of  Wassanah 
say  they  go  first  to  the  southward,  and  then  to  the 
westward,    in  boats  to  the  great  water;  this  I  con- 
ceive must  be  the  Atlantic  Ocean,  where  they  have 
seen  pale  men  and  great  boats,  &c.     These  I  should 
naturally  conclude   were  Europeans,  with  vessels; 
and  that  it  takes  three  moons  to  get  there,  (about 
eighty-five   days)   at  the  rate  of  thirty  miles  a  day,, 
which  is  the  least  we  can  give  them  with  so  strong  a 
current ;  it  makes  a  distance  from  thence  to  the  sea 
of  about  two  thousand   five  hundred  miles :  in  com- 
puting this  distance,  one-third  or  more   should  be 
allowed  for  its  windings,  so  that  the  whole  length  of 
the  river  is   above  four  thousand  miles,  and  is  pro- 
bably the  longest  and  largest  on  the  African  conti-- 
nent.     5thly,  That  the  waters  of  this  river  in  their 
passage  towards  the  east,  have  beea  obstructed  in 
their  course  by  high  mountains  in  the  central  re- 
gions of  this  unexplored  continent,  and  turned  south- 
wardly :  that  they  are   borne  along  to  the  south- 
ward,  between  the  ridges  of  mountains    that  are 
known  to  extend  all  along  the  western  coast,  from 
Senegal  to  the  gulf  of  Guinea,  and  to  round  with 
that  gulf  to  the  south  of  the  equator:  that  they  are 
continually  narrowed  in  and  straitened  by  that  im- 
mense ridge  in  which  the  great  river  Nile  is  known 
to  have  its  sources ;  and  which  mountains  lie  in  the 
equatorial  region:  that  this  central  river  receives, 
in  its  lengthened  course,  all  the  streams  that  water 
and  fertilize  the   whole  country,  between  the  tw« 
before-mentioned  ridg-es  of  mountains :  the  waters 

eBSERVATIONS  ON  AFRICA.  '        345 

thus  accumulated  and  pent  up,  at  length  broke  over 
their  western  and  most  feeble  barrier,  tore  it  down 
to  its  base,  and  thence  found  and  forced  their  way  to 
the  Atlantic  Ocean,  forming  what  is  now  known  as 
the  river  Congo.  In  corroboration  of  this  opinion, 
some  men  of  my  acquaintance,  who  have  visited  the 
Congo,  and  traded  all  along  the  coast  between  it 
and  the  Senegal,  affirm,  that  the  Congo  discharges 
more  water  into  the  Atlantic,  taking  the  whole  year 
together,  than  all  the  streams  to  the  northward  of  it, 
between  its  mouth  and  Cape  de  Verd. 


Sidi  Hamet's  journey  from  Tombuctoo  to  JVIoroceo-f  by 
the  eastern  route — his  description  of  the  Desart,  and 
'of  the  country  oh  both  sides  of  it.  Of  a  dreadful 
battle  with  the  wandering  Arabs.  Sidi  Hamet  takes 
his  leave.,  and  sets  out  to  join  his  family. 

"  The  caravan  vre  joined  at  Tombuctoo,  was 
a  very  large  one,  belonging  to  Algiers,  Tunis, 
Tripoli,  and  Fez,  four  united  together.  They  re- 
mained near  that  city  two  moons,  and  bought  two 
thousand  slaves,  besides  a  great  deal  of  gold  dust, 
and  teeth,  and  turbans,  and  gold  rings,  and  chains, 
and  gum;  but  Seid  and  I  had  only  our  two  camels, 
and  they  were  but  partly  loaded  with  gum,  for  ac- 
count of  Ben  JVassar^  the  Sheick  of  the  Tunissian 
part  of  the  caravan,  for  there  were  three  Sheicks 
in  it.  When  every  thing  was  ready,  we  set  off 
from  Tombuctoo,  and  travelled  east-northerly,  twen- 


346  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

ty  days  through  the  hilly  country,  crossing  a  great 
many  little  streams  of  water  that  ran  to  the  south 
and  west  towards  the  great  river,  it  having  rained 
very  hard  almost  every  liight  whilst'  we  were  at 

When  we  were  going  amongst  the  hills  and  trees, 
we  saw  a  great  many  small  towns,  or  cities,  most  of 
them  fenced  in  with  good  stone  walls,  but  some  with 
cane  and   thorn  bushes.     The  land  of  that  country 
ts  very  good,    and  plenty  of  corn  grows  on  it,   and 
some  rice  and  dates,  and  we  saw   some,  oxen,  sheep^ 
and  asses,  and  a    few   horses.     The  inhabitants  are 
Moors  and  Arabs  mixed  with  the  negroes,  and  almost 
as  black  as  the  latter;  all  of  our  own  religion:  they 
are  very  stout  fierce  men,  but   they  did  not  attempt 
to  molest  us,  and  sold  us  every  thing  we  wanted  at 
a  cheap  rate  :  they  wear  no  clothing  but  a  strip  of 
cloth  about  their  middles,  and  a  ring  of  bone  or  ivory 
round  the  women's  ankles  and  wrists,  and  some  beads 
in  their  hair;    they  are  peaceable  people,  and  never 
attack  the  caravans  unless  the  latter  attempt  to  rob 
them :  they  are  armed  with  muskets  and   with   long 
knives,  and  with  bows  and  arrows.      When  they  are 
forced  to  fight,  they  do  it  with  the  greatest  fury,  and 
never  take  prisoners  or  receive  quarter,  and  only  de- 
fend their  rights.    Some  of  the  people  in  our  caravaa 
told  us,  that  a  iew  years  ago  a  caravan,  going  from 
Tombuctoo  to  Tunis,  Algiers,  &c.  in  passing  through 
this  country,   surprised  and  stole   about   four   hun- 
dred of  the  inhabitants  for  slaves,  and  a  great  number 
of  cattle  and  much  corn,  and  went  towards  the  desart; 
but  these  people  assembled  a  large  host,  and  came 


up  with  them  in  the  night  near  the  edge  of  the  desart, 
and  cut  the  whole  of  them  to  pieces,  though  thej  were 
more  than  two  thousand  men  strong,  and  well  armed ; 
only  about  fifty  of  the  people  of  the  caravan  escaped 
and  got  back    to    Tunis  to  tell   the  news,    and  they 
only  by  riding  on  the   swiftest  camels   without   any 
loads.     After  having  refreshed  our   camels  for  ten 
days  in  a  beautiful  valley,    where   there  was  a  good 
stream  of  water  for  them  to  drink,  and  filled  the  sacks 
with  coals,  we  mounted  up  to  the  desart,  and  steered 
on  the  flat    level    away  to  the  north.     As  we  went 
along  we   came    to  some   small  valleys,   where    the 
Arabs  feed  their  camels  and   live  on   their  milk,  and 
think   themselves   the   most  learned,  virtuous,    and 
religious  people  in   the  world,  and  the  most  happy 
too,  though  they  have  neither  bread,  nor  meat,  nor 
honey,  nor  any  clothing  but  a  rag  tied   round   their 
waist,    and   live   in    tents,   wandering    about.      We 
steered  about  north  for  eisfhteen  davs,  when  w^e  came 
to  the  usual/  watering-place,  called    Weydlah;  here 
was  a  great  deal  of  water  in  a  pond,  but  it  was  black 
and  quite  salt,  like  the  water    in  the  wells   close  by 
the  great   sea ; — it  was  very  dead  and  stinking  and 
""tasted  of  sulphur; — it  is  in  a  very  deep  pit  and  difficult 
to    get  at,  there  being  only  one  place  by  which  we 
could  lead  the  camels  down    to  the  water:  it  is  said 
to  be  very  deep  in  the  middle,  and  was  never  known 
to  be  dry  :  it   was  almost  covered  over  by  a   thick 
green  scum; — we  could  see  the  tracks  of  wild  beasts, 
such    as  tigers  and  lions,  near  the  water.     We  had 
seen  a  great  many  of  these  animals  in  our  travels  to 
Wassanah,  and   when  we  were  coming    from  Tom- 

348  CAPTAIN  riley"'s  narrative. 

buctoo  to  the  eastward.  Our  caravan  consisted  of 
about  fifteen  hundred  men,  most  of  us  well  armed 
with  double-barrelled  guns  and  scimitars,  and  we  had 
about  four  thousand  camels.  It  was  a  long  journey 
to  the  next  well ;  so  we  stopped  here  six  days  peaceably, 
having  encamped  in  a  valley  a  little  distance  west  of 
the  pond  or  lake.  We  had  always  made  the  camels 
lie  down  in  a  circle,  placing  the  goods  in  the  centre, 
and  the  men  between  the  camels  and  the  goods:  w^e 
had  two  hundred  men  on  guard,  and  always  ready 
for  any  emergency.  In  the  night  of  the  sixth  day, 
about  two  hours  after  midnight,  we  Avere  attacked  by 
a  very  large  body  of  wandering  Arabs :  they  had 
got  to  within  a  few  yards  of  us  before  they  were  dis- 
covered, and  poured  in  a  most  destructive  tire  of 
musketry,  at  the  same  time  running  in  like  hungry 
tigers,  with  spears  and  scimitars  in  their  hands,  with 
dreadful  yellings: — they  threw  the  whole  caravan  into 
confusion  for  a  moment :  but  we  were  in  a  tiffht 
circle,  formed  by  the  camels,  which  with  the  guards 
kept  them  off  for  a  short  time,  till  the  whole  of  our 
men  seized  their  arms  and  rallied.  The  battle  now 
raged  most  furiously:  it  was  cloudy  and  very  dark; 
the  blaze  of  the  powder  making  only  a  faint  light, 
"whilst  the  cracking  of  musketry,  the  clashing  of 
!s\vords,  the  shouts  of  the  combatants,  and  the  bel- 
lowings  of  the  wounded  and  frightened  camels, 
together  with  the  groans  q{  the  wounded  and  dying 
men,  made  the  most  dreadful  and  horrid  uproar  that 
can  be  conceived  :  the  fight  continued  for  about  two 
hours,  hand  to  hand  and  breast  to  breast,  when  the 
assailants  gave  way  and  ran  otf,  leaving  their  dead 


and  wounded  on  the  field  of  battle.  We  remained 
with  our  arms  in  our  hands  all  night.  I  was  wounded 
with  a  ball  in  my  thigh,  and  Seid  with  a  dagger  on 
his  breast."  Thev  then  showed  me  their  scars.  "  In 
the  morning  we  numbered  our  men,  and  found  that 
two  hundred  and  thirty  were  killed,  and  about  one 
hundred  wounded  :  three  hundred  of  the  camels  were 
either  slain  or  so  badly  wounded,  that  they  could  not 
walk,  and  so  we  killed  them.  We  found  seven  hun- 
dred of  q^nr  enemies  lying  on  the  ground,  either  dead 
or  wounded ; — those  that  were  badly  wounded,  we 
killed,  to  put  them  out  of  pain,  and  carried  the  others 
that  could  walk  along  with  us  for  slaves;  of  these 
there  were  about  one  hundred.  As  the  enemy  fled, 
they  took  all  their  good  camels  with  them,  for  they 
had  left  them  at  a  distance,  so  that  we  only  found 
about  fifty  poor  ones,  which  we  killed;  but  we  picked 
up  two  hundred  and  twenty  good  double-barrelled 
guns  from  the  ground.  The  gun  which  Seid  now 
uses  is  one  of  them  ; — w' e  got  also  about  four  hundred 
scimitars  or  long  knives.  We  were  told  by  the  prison- 
ers that  the  company  who  attacked  us  was  upwards 
of  four  thousand  strong,  and  that  they  had  been  pre- 
paring for  it  three  moons.  We  were  afraid  of  another 
attack,  and  went  off  the  same  day,  and  travelled  all 
the  night,  steering  to  the  N.  %,  (out  of  the  course 
the  caravans  commonly  take)  twenty-three  d  ys' 
journey,  when  we  came  to  a  place  called  the  Eight 
Wells,  where  we  found  plenty  of  good  water.  Fifty 
of  our  men  had  died,  and  twenty-one  of  the  slaves. 
We  remauied  near  these  good  wells  for  eleven  days; 
©ur  camels  feeding  on  the  bushes  in  the  valleys  near 


them,  when  we  again  travelled  to  the  north-westward 
ten  days  to  Twati,  a  good  watering  place.  For  the 
last  three  days  we  waded  through  deep  sands,  like 
those  we  passed  among  while  going  from  Widnoon. — 
We  rested  here  two  days,  and  then  went  down 
north,  into  the  country  of  dates,  and  came  to  the 
town  of  Gujelah-)  a  little  strong  place  belonging  to 
Tunis — there  we  found  plenty  of  fruit  and  good  water, 
and  meat  and  milk;  we  stopped  there  ten  days,  and 
then  the  part  of  the  caravan  going  to  Tripoli  left  us 
and  went  towards  the  east,  by  the  mountains,  and 
the  rest  went  on  to  the  north-easterly  twelve  days  to 
Tuggurtah^  close  by  a  mountain  near  the  river  Tegsah, 
that  is  said  to  go  to  the  sea  near  Tunis  ; — here  we 
stopped  twenty-five  days,  and  the  caravan  for  Tunis 
left  us.  Tuggurtah  is  a  very  large  city,  with  high 
and  thick  walls,  made  tight,  and  has  a  great  many 
people  in  it,  all  of  the  true  religion,  and  a  vast  num- 
ber of  black  slaves,  and  a  few  white  ones.  After 
stopping  here  twenty-five  days,  we  set  off  to  the 
north-westward  through  a  very  fine  country,  full  of 
date  and  fig-trees,  and  cattle,  and  goats,  camels, 
sheep,  and  asses; — we  then  travelled  ten  days  to  the 
high  mountains,  where  the  caravan  for  Algiers  parted 
from  us,  and  we  remained  with  about  two  hundred  cam- 
els and  eighty  men  going  to  fez.  We  then  travelled 
over  the  great  mountain,  which  we  were  told  belongs 
to  the  same  ridge  we  see  close  to  Morocco  and  in 
Suze  ;  (the  Atlas ;)  and  in  two  moons  more  we  passed 
through  Fez,  where  what  remained  of  the  caravan 
stopped,  and  we  returned  to  our  father's  house  and  our 
families,  on  the  side  of  the  Atlas  mountains,  near  the 


city  of  Morocco,  haiving  been  gone  more  than  two 
years.  We  brought  back  only  one  camel,  and  a 
small  load  of  merchandise,  out  of  the  eight  camels 
richly  loaded  when  we  set  out;  yet  we  thanked  God 
for  having  preserved  our  lives;  for  the  whole  caravan 
with  which  we  started  had  perished  on  the  desart, 
and  out  of  the  twenty-eight  men  who  left  it  with  us, 
only  four  reached  their  homes,  and  they  on  foot,  and 
entirely  destitute  of  property.  I  found  my  wife  and 
all  my  children  and  my  father's  family  in  good  health. 
Sheick  Ali  came  to  see  me  as  soon  as  he  got  the  news 
of  my  arrival,  and  after  staying  with  me  one  moon, 
he  invited  me  and  Seid  to  go  with  him  to  his  place, 
which  invitation  we  accepted,  and  he  furnished  us 
with  one  camel  and  some  haicks  and  blue  cloth,  and 
advised  us  to  go  up  on  to  the  desart  and  trade  them 
away  for  ostrich-feathers,  to  sell  in  Morocco  or 
Swearah:  so  being  poor,  we  accepted  his  offer;  bought 
his  goods  and  his  came^and  he  was  to  have  been 
paid  when  we  came  back.  We  set  off  for  the  desart, 
and  had  passed  a  great  many  tribes  of  Arabs  without 
finding  any  feathers  of  consequence,  when  the  great 
God  directed  our  steps  to  your  master's  tent,  and  I 
saw  you.  I  was  once  as  bad  a  man  as  Seid,  but  I 
had  been  in  distress  and  in  a  strange  land,  and  had 
found  friends  to  keep  me  and  restore  me  to  my  family, 
and  when  I  saw  you  naked  and  a  slave,  with  your 
skin  and  flesh  burnt  from  your  bones  by  the  sun,  and 
heard  you  say  you  had  a  wife  and  children,  I  thought 
of  my  own  former  distresses,  and  God  softened  my 
heart,  and  I  became  your  friend.  I  did  all  I  could  to 
lighten  the  burden  of  your  afflictions:  I  have  endured 


hunger,  thirst,  and  fatigues,  and  have  fought  for  your 
sake,  and  have  now  the  high  pleasure  of  knowing  I 
have  done  some  good  in  the  world;  and  may  the 
great  and  universal  Father  still  protect  you :  you 
have  been  true  and  kind  to  me,  and  your  friend  has 
fed  me  with  milk  and  honey;  and  I  will  always  in 
future  do  what  is  in  my  power  to  redeem  Christians 
from  slavery." 

Here    Sidi    Hamet    finished    his    narration ;    he 

then    said  he  wished    to  go   and    see  his  wife  and 

children,  and   that  as  soon  as  he  had  rested  for  a 

few  days,  he  would  set  off  again  with  a  large  company 

to  seek  after  the  rest  of  my  men.     The  next  morning 

I  made  him  a  small   present,  and  Mr.  Willshire  also 

gave  him  some  fine  powder   and  many   other  small 

articles.     After  he  was  prepared  to  go,  he  swore  by 

his   right  hand,  he  would  bring  up  the  remainder  of 

my  crew   if  they  were  to  be  found    alive,  and  God 

spared  his    life :  he  then  tqpk  his    leave  of  me  by 

shaking  hands,  and  of  all  my  companions,  wishing  us 

a  happy  sight  of  our  friends,  and  set  off  for  his  home. 

I  did   not  part  with  him  without  feelings  of  regret, 

and  shedding  tears ;  for  he  had  been  a  kind  master 

to  me,   and  to  him  I  owed,  under  God,    my  life  and 

deliverance  from  slavery ;  nor  could  I  avoid  reflecting 

on  the  wonderful  means  employed  by  Providence  to 

bring  about  my  redemption,  and  that  of  a  part  of  my 

late  unfortunate  crew. 



^4n  account  of  the  face  of  the  great  African  Desart^  or 
Zahahrah — of  its  inhabitants^  their  customs^  manners^ 
dress^  &;c. — A  description  of  the  Ara:bi(m  camel  or 

In  giving  an  account  of  the  great  western  desart, 
or  Zahahrah,  and  of  its  inhabitants,  &c.  it  must  be 
remembered,  that  in  journeying  across,  or  on  the 
desart  when  a  slave,  I  did  not  go  over  but  a  very 
small  part,  comparatively  speaking,  of  that  extensive 
region ;  I  cannot  therefore  undertake  to  describe 
what  did  not  come  under  my  own  observa- 
tion. I  can,  however,  state,  without  fear  of  future 
contradiction,  the  following  facts,  viz.  that  the  face 
of  this  desart,  from  about  the  latitude  of  22  degrees 
north,  where  we  were  forced  ashore  In  our  boat,  to 
near  the  latitude  of  28  degrees  north,  and  from  the 
longitude  of  Cape  Barbas,  about  19  to  1 1  degrees 
west,  is  a  smooth  surface,  consisting  partly  of  solid 
rocks,  of  gravel,  sand,  and  stones  mixed,  and  in  some 
places  of  what  is  commonly  called  soil :  this  mass  is 
baked  down  together  in  most  places,  by  the  extreme 
heat  of  the  sun,  nearly  as  hard  as  marble,  so  that  no 
tracks  of  man  or  beast  are  discoverable ;  for  the 
footstep  leaves  no  impression.  The  whole  surface 
is  as  smooth,  when  viewed  on  every  side,  as  the  plain 
of  the  ocean  unruffled  by  winds  or  tempests,  stretch- 
ing out  as  far  as  the  eye  can  reach ;  not  a  break  that 
might  serve  as  a  landmark,  or  guide  to  the  travellef : 

z  7. 


not  a  tree,  shrub,  or  any  other  object,  to  Inte  rrupt 
the  view  within  the  horizon  ;  the  whole  is  in  ap- 
pearance a  dreary  waste ;  the  soil  is  in  colour  of  a 
light  reddish  brown — not  a  stream  of  water  (at 
least  for  many  centuries  past)  has  refreshed  this 
region,  which  is  doomed  to  eternal  barrenness;  but 
as  we  went  foward  on  this  flat  hard  surface,  we  met 
from  distance  to  distance  with  small  valleys  or  dells, 
scooped  out  by  the  hand  of  nature,  from  five  to  thirty 
feet  below  the  plain — those  we  saw  and  stopped  in, 
were  ten,  fifteen,  and  twenty  miles  apart,  and  contain- 
ed from  one  to  four  or  five  acres  each — they  seem  to 
serve  as  receptacles  for  the  little  rain  water  which 
falls  on  the  desart ;  for  the  inhabitants  always  expect 
some  in  the  winter  months,  though  they  are  frequent- 
ly disappointed ;  and  none  had  fallen  on  those  parts 
on  which  we  were  thrown  for  the  last  two  years. 

It  was  aheady  September,  and  they  were  offering 
up  prayers  to  the  Almighty  every  day,  and  most 
fervently  imploring  him  to  send  them  refreshing 
rains.  These  little  valleys  are  mostly  scooped  out 
in  the  form  of  a  bowl,  though  in  some  the  sides  arc 
steep,  and  bottoms  nearly  level,  and  the  whole 
irregular.  Here  grows  a  dwarf  thorn-bush,  from  two 
to  five  feet  in  height;  it  is  generally  scattered  thinly 
over  the  valley.  The  leaves  of  this  shrub,  which  is 
almost  the  only  one  that  is  to  be  found  on  that  part 
of  the  desart,  are  a  fourth  of  an  inch  in  thickness, 
one  and  a  half  inches  in  width,  and  from  two  to  tw« 
and  a  half  inches  in  length,  lapering  to  a  sharp  point, 
and  are  strongly  impregnated  with  salt,  so  much  so, 
that  neither  myself  nor  my  companions  could  eat 
them,   though    nearly    perishuig    with  hunger  and 


thirst,  and  a  green  fresh  leaf  would  haye  been  a  great 
relief  to  us,  when  meat  nor  drink  was  to  be 
procured.  Such  is  the  face  of  the  desart  over  which 
we  passed,  until  we  came  within  a  short  distance  of 
Cape  Bajador,  where  we  fell  in  with  immense  heaps 
of  loose  sand,  forming  mountains  of  from  one  to  three 
or  four  hundred  feet  in  height,  blown  and  whirled 
about  hy  every  wind,  and  dreadful  to  the  traveller, 
should  a  strong  gale  arise  whilst  in  the  midst  of  them; 
for  he  and  his  beasts  must  then  inevitably  perish, 
overwhelmed  by  flying  surges  of  suffocating  sand. 

The  face  of  this  part  of  the  desart  is  still  the  same 
as  that  before  described,  when  laid  bare  and  seen 
between  the  sand  hills,  by  reason  of  the  sand  being 
blown  off.  This  sand  has  evidently  been  driven  from 
the  sea-shore,  and  in  the  same  degree  as  the  ocean 
hag  retired;  by  means  of  the  trade-wind  blowing 
constantly  on  to  the  desart,  and  that  too  very  strongly 
in  the  night-time,  through  a  long  succession  of  ages. 
The  heavy  surf  dashing  perpetually  among  the  rocks 
gradually  reduces  them  to  grit,  which  then  mixes 
with  the  sand  that  is  washed  up  upon  the  shore, 
where  it  is  left  by  the  tides  that  rise  on  this  coast  to 
the  height  of  twelve  or  fourteen  feet; — this  becomes 
dried  by  the  excessive  heat  of  the  sun,  and  is  whirled 
about  and  driven  before  this  constant  gale,  upon 
the  surface,  and  then  into  the  interior  of  the  desart. 
Such  have  unquestionably  been  the  causes  which 
have  produced  such  astonishing  accumulations  of 
sand  on  that  part  of  the  desart;  and  I  am  further 
confirmed  in  this  belief  by  the  enormous  strings  of 
sand  hills  to  be   found  all  along  the  coast  of  Suse 


356  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

and  Morocco,  near  the  sea-shore.  These  accumula- 
tions are,  in  many  parts,  so  great,  as  to  have  raised 
new  bounds  to  the  ocean  some  miles  beyond  its  ori- 
ginal limits,  which  have  evidently  been  washed  by  the 
sea  at  a  former  period,  and  the  intermediate  spaces  are 
filled  up  with  loose  sand  hiils;  which  circumstances  all 
together  amount,  in  my  opinion,  to  a  demonstration 
of  the  origin  of  the  sand  on  this  part  of  the  desart. 

Some  authors  have  supposed  that  there  were  some 
fertile  spots  on  the  great  western  desart  which  were 
cultivated,  &c.  &c.  but  this  is,  I  think,  an  impossibility: 
the  whole  desart  being  a  level  plain,  it  can  produce 
neither  spring  or  stream  of  water,  and  no  herbage 
can  consequently  grow  unless  by  means  of  rain,  and 
this  falls  on  the  desart  so  seldom,  and  is  so  soon 
evaporated,  as  to  render  even  a  passage  across  it  with 
a  caravan  of  Arabs  and  camels,  at  all  times  dangerous 
in  the  extreme,  as  is  proved  by  Sidi  Hamet's  narrative 
of  his  journeys,  connected  with  my  own  observations. 
That  there  are  more  shrubs  growing  in  some  parts 
than  in  others,  is  true,  from  natural  causes.  The 
small  valleys  or  dells  which  now  furnish  a  scanty  sub- 
sistence for  the  hardy  came!,  and  that  only  by  feeding 
on  the  coarsest  shrubs  and  leaves,  serve  as  basons  to 
catch  tlie  little  water  that  sometimes  falls  there  :  this 
is  immediately  dried  away  by  the  intense  heat  of  the 
sun,  which  beats  down  upon  the  surface  in  all  parts 
most  violently,  and  scorches  like  actual  fire; — yet 
that  moisture,  little  as  it  is,  causes  the  growth  of  the 
dwarf  thorn-bush  and  of  two  or  three  other  prickly 
plants,  resembling  weeds ;  these  grow  only  among 
sand,  and  there  are  spots  on  the  desart  which  produce 


a  shrub  that  groAvs  up  in  a  bunch  at  the  bottom  as  thick 
as  a  man's  leg,  and  then  branches  off  in  every  direc- 
tion to  the  height  of  two  feet,  with  a  diameter  of  four 
or  five  feet.  Each  branch  is  two  or  three  inches  in 
circumference,  and  they  arc  fluted  hke  pillars  or 
columns  in  architecture,  and  almost  square  at  their 
tops :  these  are  armed  with  small  sharp  prickles  all 
over,  two  or  three  inches  long,  and  yield,  when  broken 
off,  a  whitish  liquid  that  is  very  nauseous,  and  bites 
the  tongue  like  aqua-fortis,  so  that  the  camels  will 
nip  it  off  only  when  they  can  find  nothing  else  :  they 
are  so  numerous  in  some  places,  that  it  is  difficult  for 
the  camels  to  get  along  amongst  them,  and  they  are 
obliged  to  dodge  about  between  these  bunches. 

In  many  valleys,  the  thorn-bushes  furnish  a  few 
snails.  A  few  ground  nuts  are  also  to  be  found, 
resembling  in  shape  and  size  small  onions ;  and  there 
are  also  to  be  seen  under  the  shade  of  the  thorn- 
bushes,  an  herb  known  by  the  name  of  shepherds' 
sprouts  in  America ;  but  like  the  other  things  before 
mentioned,  they  are  very  rarely  to  be  met  with. 
These  are,  as  far  as  came  within  my  knowledge,  the 
whole  of  the  productions  of  the  desart. 

It  has  been  imagined  by  many,  that  the  desart 
abounded  in  noxious  animals,  serpents,  and  other 
reptiles;  but  we  saw  none,  nor  is  it  possible  for  any 
animal  that  requires  water,  to  exist  on  the  desart, 
unless  it  is  under  the  care  of,  and  assisted  by  man  in 
procuring  that  necessary  article.  I  saw  no  animal 
that  was  wild,  except  the  ostrich,  nor  can  I  conceive 
how  that  animal  exists  without  fresh  water,  which  it 
it  certain  he  cannot  procure,  nor  what  kind  of  nourish- 

358  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

ment  he  subsists  on.  There  are  neither  beasts,  nor 
birds,  nor  reptiles,  to  be  seen  on  that  dreary  waste  on 
Avhich  we  travelled,  and  it  is  certain  that  there  are 
other  districts  still  worse,  bearing  not  the  smallest  herb 
nor  bush  wherewith  the  camel  can  fill  his  stomach:  but 
near  the  borders  of  the  desart,  where  more  shrubs  are 
produced,  sheep  and  goats  are  fed  in  considerable 
numbers,  and  we  saw  many  of  those  light-footed  and 
beautiful  animals,  called  the  Gazelle^  tripping  across 
the  sand  hills,  and  near  watering-places :  some  tigers 
also  now  and  then  made  their  appearance.  Such  is 
the  great  western  desart,  or  Zahahrah,  which  can 
only  afford  a  description  as  dry  and  as  barren  as  its 
dreary  surface.     For  its  extent,  see  the  map. 

Nearly  all  parts  of  this  vast  desart  are  inhabited 
by  different  tribes  of  Arabs,  who  live  entirely  on  the 
milkof  their  camels,  and  wander  from  valley  to  valley, 
travelling  nearly  every  day  for  the  sake  of  finding 
food  for  their  camels,  and  consequently  food  for 
themselves:  they  live  in  tents  formed  of  cloth  made 
of  camels'  hair,  which  they  pull  off  by  hand,  and  spin 
with  a  hand  spindle;  this  they  twist  round  with  the 
fore-finger  and  thumb  of  the  right  hand  j  after  they 
have  pulled  out  the  thread  sufficiently  long  from  a 
bunch  of  camels  hair,  which  they  hold  In  their  left 
hand,  whilst  the  spindle  descends  to  the  ground,  when 
they  take  it  up  in  their  hand  again,  and  wind  ofi'  the 
yarn  in  a  ball,  and  then  spin  another  length  in  like 
manner :  they  afterwards  double  and  twist  it  by 
hand,  making  a  thread  as  thick  as  a  goose-quill.  When 
they  have  spun  a  sufficient  quantity,  and  have  agreed 
to  stop  for  two  or  three  days   in  one  place,  (which 


ihey  always  do  when  thejcan  find  sufficient  food  for 
their  camels)  they  drive  into  the  ground  two  rows  of 
pei^s,  in   parallel  lines,   sufficiently  wide   for  a   tent 
cloth,  that  is,  about  two  and  a  half  feet  apart:  they 
then  warp  the  yarn  round  the  pegs,  and  commence 
weaving  it    by  running    a    kind   of  wooden    sword 
through  the  yarn  under  one  thread,  and  over  another, 
in  the  manner  of  darning  :  this  sword  they  carry  with 
them,  and  it  appears  to   have  been  used  for   ages : 
they  then    tuck  through  the   filling   by  hand,  after 
turning  up  the  sword  edgeways;  haul  it  tight,   and 
beat    it  up  with  the  sword,  as  represented   in   plate 
No.  6.     They  weave  it  the  whole  length  which  they 
intend  the  tent  to  be,  and  then  roll  up   the  pieces  or 
length,  until  they  have  made  enough  to  finish  a  tent. 
This,  in  my  opinion,  must  have  been  the    very  first 
method  of  weaving  practised  in   the  world,   and  the 
idea,  I  imagine,  was  taken  from  a  view  of  the  outer 
bark  of  the  cocoa-nut  tree,  as  I  have  before  observed. 
The  tent  is  then  sewed  toijether  with  the  same  kind 
of  twine,  through  holes  made   with  an   iron  bodkin. 
After  it   is  sewed  together  to  a  proper  width,  from 
six  to  ten  breadths,  they  make  four  loops  on  its  ends, 
by  fastening  short  crooked  sticks    to  the  cloth,  and 
two  on  each  side.     V/hen  they  are  about  to  pitch  the 
tent,  they  spread  it  out,  stretching  the  cords  by  which 
it  is  fastened,  and  driving  a  stout  peg  into  the  ground 
for  each  cord:  this  is  done  with  a  hard  smooth  stone, 
which  they  always  carry   with  them,  in  place  of  a 
hammer ;  then  getting  under  the  tent  and  raising  it, 
they  place  a  block,   whose    top    is   rounded    like  a 
w«Gden  bowl,  under  its  ceotre,  and  set  the  tent  pole 


into  a  hole  made  for  that  purpose,  and  set  the  pole 
upright,  which  keeps  the .  tent  steady  in  its  place. 
After  the  tent  is  raised,  all  the  ropes  that  hold  and 
steady  it,  (ten  in  number)  are  tautened  :  these  ropes 
are  made  of  skins  partly  dressed,  or  of  camels'  hair, 
so  that  the  tent  is  suspended  in  form  of  an  oblong 
umbrella,  and  about  two  feet  from  the  ground.  In 
the  day-time  they  raise  up  the  south  part  of  their 
tents  (as  those  on  the  desart  are  always  pitched 
facing  the  south)  with  two  small  stanchions  fixed 
under  the  cords  that  hold  it  in  front,  so  that 
they  can  go  under  the  tent  by  stooping;  this 
tent  serves  all  the  family  for  a  shelter.  Each  family 
has  a  mat,  which  serves  as  a  bed  for  the  whole :  they 
he  down  on  it  promiscuously,  only  wrapped  up  in 
their  haick  or  blanket,  if  they  have  one;  if  not,  in  the 
skin  that  covers  their  loins  only,  and  lie  close  together, 
to  keep  off  the  cold  winds  ,which  blow  under  the 
tents  in  the  night;  the  children  lie  between  the  grown 
persons;  their  heads  are  as  low,  and  frequently  lower 
than  their  feet,  and  their  long  bushey  hair,  which  is 
never  combed,  and  resembles  a  woollen  thrumb  mop, 
serves  them  instead  of  a  pillow.  The  families  consist 
of  the  father,  and  one  or  more  wives,  and  the  children 
that  are  unmarried,  (generally  about  four  to  a  family, 
but  sometimes  six  or  eight)  and  their  slaves,  who 
are  blacks. 

The  rich  Arabs  have  one,  two,  or  three  slaves, 
male  and  female ;  these  are  allowed  to  sleep  on  the 
same  mnt  with  their  masters  and  mistresses,  and  are 
treated  in  all  respects  like  the  children  of  the  family 
in  regard  to  apparel,  &c. — tliey  are  not,  however. 


permitted  to  marry  or  cohabit  with  the  Arab  women, 
under  pain  of  death,  and  are  obliged  to  take  care  of 
the    camels    and    follow    them,     and    to    do    other 
drudgery,  such  as  getting  fuel,  &c.  but  they  will  not 
obey  the  women,  and  raise  their  voices  higher  than 
their  master  or  any  of  his  children  in  a  dispute,  and 
consequently  are  considered   smart  fellows.     They 
marry  among  their  own  colour  while  they  are  slaves, 
with  the  consent  of  their  masters,  but  the  chi !dren 
remain  slaves.     After  a  slave  has  served  his  master 
faithfully  for  a  long  time,  or  has  don^  him  some  es- 
sential service,  he  is  made  free  :  he  then  enters  into 
all  the  privileges  that  the  free  Arabs  enjoy,  and  can 
marry  into   any  of  their   families,   which  he  or  she 
never  fails  to  do,  and  thus  become  identified  with  the 
families  of  the  tribe  in  which  they  were  slaves,  and 
may  rise  to  the  very  head  of  it.     The  negroes  are 
generally  active  and    brave,   are   seldom   punished 
with  stripes,  and  those  who  drive  the  camels  do  not 
scruple  to  milk  them  when  they  are  thirsty,  but  taLe 
care  not  to  be  discovered :  they  are  extremely  cun- 
ning, and  will  steal  any  thing  they  can  get  at  to  eat 
or  drink,  from  their  masters,  or  indeed  any  one  else. 
If  they  are  caught  in  the  act  of  steahng,  they  are 
only  threatened,  and  promised  a  flo2;ging  the  next 
time.     The  father  of  the  family  is  its  absolute   chief 
in  all  respects,  though  he  seldom  inflicts  punishmer.t: 
his  wives  and  daughters    are  considered   as  meie 
slaves,  subject  to  his  will  or  caprice ;  yet  thev  take 
every  opportunity  to  deceive  or  steal  from  hi'n:  he 
deals  out  the  milk  to  each  with  his  own  hand,  nor 
<iare  any  ene  touch  it  until  it  is  thus  divided:  he 

3  a 

362  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

always  assists  in  milking  the  camels,  then  puts  the 
milk  into  a  large  wooden  bowl,  which  has  probably 
been  in  the  family  for  ages:  some  of  the  largest 
bowls  will  contain  five  gallons:  they  are  frequently 
split  in  every  direction,  and  the  split  parts  are  fasten- 
ed together  with  small  iron  plates,  with  a  rivet  at 
each  end,  made  of  the  same  metal.  All  the  milk  is 
thrown  into  the  great  bowl;  then.  If  in  the  old  man's 
opinion,  there  is  a  sufficient  quantity  for  a  good  drink 
round,  he  takes  a  small  bowl,  (of  which  sort  they 
generally  have  two  or  three.)  and  after  washing  or 
rubbing  it  out  with  sand,  he  begins  to  distribute  the 
milk,  by  giving  to  each  grown  person  an  equal 
share,  and  to  the  children  in  proportion  to  their  size, 
measuring  it  very  exactly,  and  taking  a  proportion- 
ate quantity  to  himself.  If  therfe  is  any  left,  (which 
was  very  seldom  the  case  with  those  I  lived  among) 
he  has  it  put  into  a  skin,  to  serve  for  a  drink  at  noon 
the  next  day :  if  there  is  not  a  sufficient  quantity  of 
milk  for  a  good  drink  all  round,  the  old  man  fills  it 
up  with  water  (if  they  have  any)  to  a  certain  mark 
in  the  bowl,  and  then  proceeds  to  divide  it  as  before 

The  camels  are  driven  out  early  in  the  morning, 
and  home  about  dark,  when  they  are  made  to  lie 
down  before  the  tent  of  their  owner,  very  near,  with 
their  tails  towards  it :  a  doubled  rope  with  a  large 
knot  in  one  end  is  then  put  round  the  knee  joint 
when  the  leg  is  doubled  in,  and  the  knot  being  then 
thrust  through  the  double  part  at  the  other  end,  ef- 
fectually fastens  the  knee  bent  as  it  is,  so  that  the 
camel  cannot  get  up  to  walk  off,  having  but  the  use 


of  three   of  his  legs.     This  kind  of  becket  is  also 
fixed  on  the  knees  of  the  old  camels  that  lead  the 
drove ;  and  the  others  remain  quiet  when  their  lead- 
ers are  fast ;  in  this  manner  they  are  suffered  to  lie 
until  about  midnight,  when   they  have  had   time  to 
cool  and  the  milk  to  collect  in  their  bags — the  becket 
is  then  taken  off,  and  as  soon  as  they  get  up,  the  net 
which  covers  the   bag  to  prevent   the  young   ones 
from  consuming  the  milk,  is  loosened :  this  is  fasten- 
ed on  by  two  cords,  that  go  over  the  back  of  the 
camel,  and  are  knotted  together.     As  each  camel  is 
milked,  the  net  is  carefully  replaced,  and  she  is  made 
to  lie  down  in  the  same  place  again :  here  they  lie 
until  dayliglit,  when  all  the  camels  are  made  to  get 
up;  a  little  milk  is  then  drawn  from  each,  and  the 
young  ones  are  suffered   to  suck  out  the  remainder, 
when  the  net  is  put  in  its  place  again,  not  to  be  re- 
moved  until  the  following  midnight.       While  the 
head  of  the  family  is  busied  milking  the  camels  and 
suckling   the  young  ones,  assisted  by  all  the  males, 
the  wife  and  females  are  striking  and  folding  up  the 
tent,  selecting  the   camels  to  carry  the  stuff,  and 
bringing  them  near,  where  they  make  them  lie  down 
and  pack  on  them  the  tent  and  all  their  other  mate- 
rials.    This  being  done,  they  fasten  a  leather  or  skin 
basket,  about  four  [eet  wide,  fitted  with  a  kind  of 
tree,  like  a  saddle  on  the  back  of  one  of  the  tamest 
camels,  in  which  the  women  place  the  old  men  and 
women  that  cannot  walk,  and   young  children,  and 
frequently  themselves,  and  proceed  forward  accord- 
ing; to  their  daily  custom.     The  women  take  care  of 
tlie  stuff  and  the  camels  that  carry  it,  and  of  the 

364  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

children :  the  other  camels  are  driven  off  by  slaves, 
it"  they  have  any,  if  not,  by  some  of  the  boys,  and 
ke|!t  where  there  are  some  shrubs  to  be  found,  until 
night.  The  old  man,  or  head  of  the  family,  gene- 
rally precedes  the  women  and  stuff,  after  having  de- 
scribed to  them  the  course  they  are  to  steer.  He 
sets  Oif  on  his  camel,  with  his  gun  in  his  hand,  at  a 
fuil  trot,  and  goes  on  until  he  finds  a  fit  place  in 
which  to  pitch  the  tent,  when  he  gives  the  informa- 
tion to  his  wife,  who  then  proceeds  with  all  possible 
despatch  to  the  spot,  unloads  her  camels,  and  lets 
them  go;  then  she  spreads  her  tent,  puts  all  the 
stuff  under  it,  clears  away  the  small  stones,  and 
spreads  her  mat,  arranges  her  bowls,  hangs  up  the 
skins  containing  water,  (if  they  have  any,)  on  a  kind 
of  horse  or  frame  that  folds  together,  &c.  &c.  They 
start  long  before  sun-rising  in  the  morning,  and  cal- 
culate to  pitch  their  tents  at  about  four  o'clock  in 
the  afternoon,  if  they  can  find  a  convenient  spot ; 
otherwise  a  little  sooner  or  later.  When  one  family 
sets  off,  the  whole  of  that  part  of  the  tribe  dwell- 
ing near,  travel  on  with  them;  and  I  have  frequently 
seen  from  five  hundred  to  one  thousand  camels  in 
one  drove,  all  going  the  same  way,  and  I  was  great- 
ly surprised  to  see  with  what  facility  they  could  dis- 
tinguish and  separate  them ;  each  knowing  his  own 
camels,  even  to  the  smallest :  they  would  sometimes 
march  together  for  half  a  day  ;  then  in  a  few  minutes 
they  would  separate,  and  each  take  his  own  course, 
and  would  generally  pitch  within  a  few  miles  of  each 
other.  As  soon  as  the  place  is  agreed  on,  the  men 
go  out  on  their  camels,  with  tlieir  guns,  different 


wayS)  to  reconnoitre  and  see  if  they  have  enemies 

When  they  rise  in  the  morning,  after  having  first 
milked  their  camels,  and  suckled  the  young  ones, 
they  next  attend  to  prayers,  which  is  done  in  the 
following  manner:  they  first  find  a  sandy  spot,  then 
unwrap  themselves,  and  take  up  sand  in  both  their 
hands ;  with  this  they  rub  their  faces,  necks,  arms, 
legs,  and  every  part  of  their  bodies,  except  their 
backs,  which  they  cannot  reach  :  this  done,  as  if 
they  washed  with  water,  they  stand  erect,  facing 
towards  the  east;  wrap  themselves  up  as  neatly  as 
they  can  in  their  blankets  or  skins;  they  look  up 
towards  heaven,  and  then  bow  their  heads,  bending 
their  bodies  half  way  to  the  ground,  twice,  crying 
aloud  at  each  time,  Jillah  Hooakibar.  They  next 
kneel  down,  and  supporting  themselves  with  their 
hands,  they  worship,  bowing  thcjr  faces  in  the  dust, 
twice  successively ;  then,  being  still  on  their  knees, 
they  bend  themselves  forward,  nearly  to  the  ground, 
repeating.  Hi  el  JlUuh-Sheda  Mohammed — Rasool 
Allah  ;  then  rising,  they  again  repeat,  Allah  Hooaki- 
bar^ two  or  three  times ;  and  this  is  the  common 
mode  of  worshipping  four  times  a  day.  In  addition 
to  this,  at  sun-setting,  they  implore  the  Almighty  to 
send  rain  to  moisten  the  parched  earth ;  to  cause  the 
food  to  grow  for  their  camels;  to  keep  them  under 
his  special  care,  with  their  families  and  tribes:  to 
enrich  them  with  the  spoils  of  their  enemies,  and  to 
confound  and  destroy  them  that  seek  their  hurt : 
they  thank  the  Almighty  for  his  past  mercies,  for 
foBd,  raiment,  and  his  protection,  &c.  <fec. — they  then 

366  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

repeat  part  of  a  chapter  from  the  Koran,  in  which 
God's  pretended  promises  to  the  faithful  are  made 
known  bj  their  prophet;  and  repeating  at  all  times 
the  Hi  el  Allah^  or,  "  great  is  the  Almighty  God, 
and  Mohammed  is  his  holy  prophet."  Their  times 
of  prayer  are,  before  sun-rising  in  the  morning, 
about  noon,  the  middle  of  the  afternoon,  about  sun- 
settino-  and  ascain  two  or  three  hours  after  the  sun 
has  set :  this  makes  five  times  a  day,  wasliing  them- 
selves (at  least  their  faces  and  hands,  when  they 
have  water)  before  praying;  when  they  cannot  get 
water,  (which  is  always  the  case  with  those  on  the 
desart,)  they  perform  their  ablutions  by  substituting 
sand.  Mohammed,  their  prophet,  when  he  arrived 
with  an  army  on  the  desarts  of  Arabia,  found  that 
there  was  no  water  either  for  himself  or  his  follow- 
ers to  wash  in ;  yet  by  the  laws  he  had  already  pro- 
mulgated, ablutions  could  not  be  dispensed  with: 
a  new  chapter,  however,  of  revelation,  soon  relieved 
him  from  this  dileinma,  and  he  directed  his  follow- 
ers to  use  sand,  when  no  water  was  to  be  had.  In 
the  ninth  chapter  of  the  Book  of  Numbers,  it  appears 
that  Moses,  in  a  similar  dilemma,  found  it  necessary 
to  apply  for  a  new  command  from  the  Lord  on  a 
particular  subject. 

The  Arabs  always  wash  when  it  is  in  their  power, 
before  they  eat,  nor  does  any  business  divert  them 
from  the  strict  observance  of  their  religious  ceremo- 
nies: and  with  respect  to  particular  stated  times, 
while  pursuing  their  journeys,  and  going  on  in  the 
greatest  haste,  when  the  time  for  prayers  arrives, 
all  stop,  make  the  camels  lie  down,  and  perform 



what  they  jconceive  to  be  their  indispensable  duty; 
praying-,  in  addition  to  the  usual  forms,  to  be  directed 
in  the  rij^ht  course,  and  that  God  will  lead  them  to 
wells  of  water,  and  to  hospitable  brethren,  who  will 
feed  them,  and  not  suiFer  them  to  perish  far  from 
the  face  of  man :  that  he  will  enrich  them  with 
spoils,  and  deliver  them  from  ail  Avho  lie  in  wait  to 
do  them  mischief;  this  done,  they  mount  again  cheer- 
fully, and  proceed,  encouraging  their  camels  by  a 
song,  a  very  lively  one,  if  they  wish  them  to  go  on 
a  trot ;  if  only  to  walk,  something  more  slow  and 

The  Arabs  who  inhabit  the  great  western  desart, 
are  in  their  persons  about  five  feet  seven  or  eight 
inches  in  height ;  and  tolerably  well  set  in  their 
frames,  though  lean :  their  complexion  is  of  a  dark 
olive:  they  have  high  cheek  bones,  and  aquiline 
noses,  rather  prominent ;  lank  cheeks,  thin  lips,  and 
rounded  chins ;  their  eyes  are  black,  sparkling,  and 
intelligent:  they  have  long  black  hair,  coarse,  and 
very  thick ;  and  the  men  cut  theirs  off  with  their 
knives,  to  the  length  of  about  six  or  eight  inches, 
and  leave  it  sticking  out  in  every  direction  from 
their  head.  They  all  wear  long  beards — their 
limbs  are  straight,  and  they  can  endure  hunger, 
thirst,  hardships,  and  fatigues,  probably  better  than 
any  other  people  under  heaven:  their  clothing  in 
general  is  nothing  more  than  a 'piece  of  coarse 
cloth,  made  of  camels'  hair,  tied  round  their  waists, 
hanging  nearly  down  to  their  knees;  or  a  goat- 
skin so  fastened  on,  as  to  cover  their  nakedness » 
but  some  of  the  rich  ones  wear  a  covering   of  linen 

368  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

or  cotton  cloth  over  their  shoulders,  to  their  knees, 
hanging  something  like  a  shift  or  shirt,  "without 
sleeves,  and  some  have,  hesides,  a  haick  or  a  woollen 
blanket,  about  four  feet  wide,  and  four  yards  long, 
which  they  Avrap  about  them;  but  this  is  the  case 
only  with  the  rich,  and  their  number  is  very  small. 
These  haicks,  and  blue  shirts,  they  get  from  the  em- 
pire of  Morocco,  in  exchange  for  camels'  hair  and 
ostrich-feathers ;  the  only  commodities  in  which 
they  can  trade.  The  Arab  women  are  short  and 
meager ;  and  their  features  much  harder  and  more 
ugly  than  those  of  the  men;  but  thiey  have  long 
black  hair,  which  they  braid  and  tuck  up  in  a  bunch 
on  their  heads,  and  fasten  it  there  by  means  of 
thorns.  They  generally  wear  strings  of  black 
beads  round  their  necks,  and  a  white  circular  bone, 
of  three  inches  in  diameter,  in  their  hair,  with  bands 
of  beads  or  other  ornaments  around  their  wrists  and 
ankles.  Their  cheek  bones  are  high  and  promi- 
nent ;  their  visages  and  lips  are  thin,  and  the  upper 
lip  is  kept  up  by  means  of  the  two  eye-teeth.  They 
take  great  pains  to  make  these  teeth  project  for- 
ward, and  turn  up  quite  in  front  of  the  line  of  their 
other  fore-teeth,  which  are  as  white  and  sound  as 
ivory.  Their  eyes  are  round,  black,  very  expres- 
sive, and  extremely  beautiful,  particularly  in  the 
young  women,  who  are  generally  plump  and  lasci- 
vious. The  women  wear  a  dress  of  coarse  camels' 
hair  cloth,  which  they  manufacture  in  the  same  way 
they  make*  their  tent  cloth ;  it  covers  their  shoul- 
ders, leaving  their  arms  and  breasts  naked :  it  is 
sewed  up  on  each  side,  and  falls  down  nearly  to 


their  knees ;  they  have  a  fold  in  this,  hke  a  sack, 
next  their  skin  on  their  shoulders,  in  which  they 
carry  their  httle  children;  and  the  breasts  of  the 
middle  aged  women  become  so  extremely  long, 
lank,  and  pendulous,  that  they  have  no  other  trou- 
ble in  nufsing  the  child  which  is  on  their  backs, 
when  walking  about,  than  to  throw  up  their  breasts 
over  the  top  of  their  shoulders,  so  that  the  child 
may  apply  its  lips. 

All  the  Arabs  go  barefoot;  the  children,  both  male 
and  female,  before  they  come  to  the  age  of  puberty, 
run  about  entirely  naked,  and  this  exposure  to  the 
sun  is  one  o;reat  cause  of  their  black  colour.  The 
males  are  all  circumcised  at  the  age  of  eight  years, 
not  as  a  religious  rite,  but  bet  ause  it  is  found  neces- 
sary as  a  preventive  of  a  disease  incident  to  the 
climate.  The  men  are  very  quick,  active,  and  in- 
telligent— more  so,  taken  collectively,  than  any  other 
set  of  men  I  had  ever  come  across  in  the  different 
parts  of  the  world  I  had  before  visited.  They  a?'e 
the  lords  and  masters  in  their  families,  and  are  very 
severe  and  cruel  to  their  wives,  whom  they  treat  as 
mere  necessarv  slaves,  and  thev  do  not  allow  them 
even  as  much  liberty  as  th<^y  giant  to  their  negroes, 
either  in  speech  or  action  :  they  are  considered  by 
the  men  as  beings  without  souls,  and  consequently, 
they  are  not  permitted  to  join  in  their  devotions, 
but  are  kept  constantly  drud£:ir)s:  at  something:  or 
other,  and  are  seldom  allowed  to  speak  when  men 
are  conversing  together.  They  are  very  filthy  in 
their  persons,  not  even  cleansing  themselves  w?th 
sand,  and  are  covered  with  vermin.     The  continual 



harsh  treatment,  and  hard  drudgery  to  which  they 
are  subject,  have  worn  off  that  fine  edge  of  deli- 
cacy, sensibility,  and  compassion,  so  natural  to  their 
sex.  and  transformed  them  into  unfeehng  and  unpi- 
tyinj^  bf iffgs ;  so  much  so,  that  their  conduct  to- 
•wards  nie  and  ray  companions  in  distress,»was  brutal 
in  the  extreme,  and  betrayed  the  extinction  of  every 
humane  and  generous  feeling. 

The  Arab  is  high-spirited,  brave,  avaricious,  ra- 
pacious, revengeful ;  and,  strange  as  it  may  appear, 
is  at  the  same  time  hospitable   and  compassionate  : 
he  is  proud  of  being  able  to  maintain  his  independ- 
ence, though  on  a  dreary  desart,  and  despises  those 
who  are  so  mean  and  degraded  as  to  submit  to  any 
government  but  that  of  the  Most  High.     He  struts 
about  sole  master  of  what  wealth  he  possesses,  al- 
ways ready  to  defend   it,  and  believes  himself  the 
happiest  of  men,  and  the  most  learned  also ;  hand- 
ing down  the  tradition  of  his  ancestors,  as  he  is  per- 
suaded, for  thousands  of  years.     He  looks  upon  all 
other  men  to  be  vile,  and  beneath  his  notice,  except 
as  merchandise  :  he  is  content  to  live  on  the  milk  of 
his  camels,  which  he  takes  great  care  to  rear,  and 
thanks    his    God    daily   for   his    continual   mercies. 
7^hey  considered  themselves  as  much  above  me  and 
my  comj)anions,  both  in  intellect  and  acquired  know- 
ledge, as  the  proud  and  pampered  West  India  plan- 
ter (long  .accustomed   to  rule  over  slaves)  fancies 
hifnself  above  the  meanest  new  negro,  just  brought 
iq   chains   from   the  coast  of  Africa.     They  never 
correct  their  male  children,  but  the  females  are  beat 
wlt|iiQut  mercy.     The  men  were  not  cruel  to  us  far- 


ther  than  they  thought  we  were  obstinate,  and  al- 
ways gave  us  a  small  share  of  what  they  themselves 
h-ad  to  subsist  on. 

I  never  witnessed  a  marriage  among  them,  but 
was  told  that  when  a  young  man  sees  a  girl  that 
,  pleases  him,  he  asks  her  of  her  father,  and  she  be- 
comes his  wife  without  ceremony.  Polygamy  is  al- 
lowed, but  the  Arabs  of  the  desart  have  but  very 
seldom  more  than  one  wife,  unless  amongst  some  of 
the  rich  ones,  who  have  need  of  servants,  when 
they  take  another  wife,  and  sometimes  a  third. 

They  all  learn  to  read  and  write :  in  every  family 
or  division  of  a  tribe,  they  have  one  man  who  acts  as 
teacher   to   the  children  :  they  have  boards  of  from 
one  foot  square  to  two  feet  long,  and  about  an   inch 
thick    by  eighteen  inches  wide :  on  these  boards  the 
children  learn  to  write  with  a  piece  of  pointed  led; 
they  have  the  secret  of  making  ink,  and  that  ol  a  very 
black  dye  :  when  a  family  of  wandering  Arabs  pitch 
their  tents,  they  set  apart  a  place  for  a  school :  this 
they  surround  with  broken  shrubs  in   the  desart   to 
keep  off  the  wind — here  all  the  boys  who  have  been 
circumcised,   of  from  eight   to  eighteen    or    twenty 
years  old,  attend,  and  are  taught  to  rea<i  and  to  write 
verses  from  the  Koran,  which  is  kept    in  manuscript 
by  every  family  on  skins  :  they  write  their  characters 
from  right  to  left — are  very  particular  in  the  forma- 
tion of  them,  and  make  their  lines  very  straicrht :  all 
the  children  attend  from  choice  or  for  amusement. — 
The  teacher,  I  was   told,  never  punishes  a  child,  but 
^  explains  the  meaningof  thin2:s.and  amuses  liim  by  tcll- 
'ing  tal«s  that  are  both  entertaining  and  instructive j 

372  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

he  reads  or  rehearses  chapters  from  the  Koran  or 
some  other  book,  for  they  have  a  grea?  many  poems? 
&c.  written  also  on  skins :  when  the  board  is  full  of 
writing,  thej  rub  it  off  with,  sand,  and  begin  again: 
thej  enumerate  with  the  nine  figures  now  in  use 
among  all  European  nations,  and  in  America,  and 
were  extremely  astonished  to  finti  that  I  could  make 
them,  and  understand  their  meaning,  saying  one  to 
another,  "This man  must  have  been  a  slave  before 
to  some  Arabian  merchant,  who  has  taught  him  the 
manner- of  using  the  Arabic  figures,  and  contrary  to 
his  law,  unless  indeed  he  is  a  good  man  and  a  be- 
liever." The  boards  on  which  they  wrote  seemed 
to  have  lasted  for  ages — they  had  been  split  in  many 
places,  and  were  kept  together  by  small  iron  plates 
on  each  side,  fixed  by  iron  rivets:  these  plates,  as 
well  as  their  rude  axes,  of  which  each  family  has  one, 
are  made  of  tempered  iron  by  the  smiths  which 
belongs  to  and  journey  with  the  tribe.  I  saw  several 
of  them  at  work.  They  burn  small  wood  into  char- 
coal, and  carry  it  with  them  on  camels :  their  anvil  is 
made  of  a  piece  of  iron  a  foot  long,  and  pointed  at  the 
end — this  they  drive  into  the  ground  to  work  on — 
the  head  of  the  anvil  is  about  six  inches  over  :  they 
make  their  fire  in  a  small  hole  due;  in  the  oround 
for  that  purpose,  and  blow  it  up  by  means  of  two  skins 
curiously  fixed  ;  so  that  while  one  is  filling  with  air, 
they  blow  with  the  other,  standing  between  them — 
with  a  hand  placed  on  each,  they  raise  and  depress 
them  at  pleasure.  By  means  of  a  clumsy  hammer, 
an  anvil,  and  hot  irons  to  bore  with,  they  manage  to 
fix  the  saddles  for  themselves  to  ride  on,  and  to  make^ 


knives  and  a  kind  of  needles,  and  small  rough  bladed 
axes.  This  forge  is  carried  about  without,  the 
smallest  inconvenience,  so  that  the  Arabs  even  of 
the  desart  are  better  provided  in  this  respect  than 
the  Israelites  were  in  the  days  of  Saul  their  King, 
Samuel,  chap.  xiii.  verses  19  to  23 — "  Now  there 
was  no  smith  in  all  the  land  of  Israel ;  for  the  Phi- 
listines said,  Lest  the  Hebrews  make  them  swords  or. 


There  appeared  to  be  no  kind  of  sickness  or  dis- 
ease among  the  Arabs  of  the  desart  during  the  time 
I  was  with  them  :  I  did  not  hear  of,  nor  see  the  small- 
est symptom  of  complaint,  and  they  appear  to  live  to 
a  vast  age :  there  were  three  people  I  saw  belonging 
to  the  tribe  in  which  I  was  a  slave,  namely,  two  old 
men  and  one  woman,  who  from  appearance  were  much 
older  than  anv  I  had  ever  seen ;  these  men  and  the 
woman  had  lost  all  the  hair  from  their  heads,  beards, 
and  every  part  of  their  bodies — the  flesh  on  them  had 
entirely  wasted  away,  and  their  skins  appeared  to  be 
dried  and  drawn  tight  over  the  sinews  and  the  bones, 
like  Egyptian  mummies  :  their  eyes  were  extinct, 
having  totally  wasted  away  in  their  sockets,  the  bones 
of  which  were  only  covered  by  their  eye-iids:  they 
had  lost  the  use  of  all  their  limbs,  and  appeared  to  be 
deprived  of  every  sense,  so  that  when  their  breath 
should  be  spent  and  their  entrails  extracted,  they 
would  in  my  opinion  be  perfect  mummies  without 
further  preparation;  for  from  their  appearance  there 
was  not  sufficient  moisture  in  their  frames  to  promote 
corruption,  and  I  felt  convinced  that  a  sight  of  such 
beings,  (probably  on  the  desarts  of  Arabia)  might 

374  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

have  given  the  Egyptians  their  first  idea  of  drying 
and  preserving  the  dead  bodies  of  their  relations  and 
friends.  An  unduliful  child  of  civihzed  parents 
migiit  here  learn  a  lesson  of  filial  pietj  and  benevo- 
lence froin  these  barbarians :  the  old  people  always 
received  the  first  drink  of  milk,  and  a  larger  share 
than  even  the  acting  head  of  the  family  when  they 
were  scanted  in  quantity:  whenever  the  family 
moved  forward,  a  camel  was  first  prepared  for  the 
old  man,  by  fixing  a  kind  of  basket  on  the  animal's 
back  ;  they  then  put  skins  or  other  soft  things 
into  it,  to  make  it  easy,  and  next  hfting  up  the 
old  man,  they  place  him  carefully  in  the  basket, 
with  a  child  or  two  on  each  side,  to  take  care  of 
and  ^tendy  him  during  the  march,  while  he  seems 
to  'it  aad  iiold  on,  more  from  long  habit  than  from 
choire. — As  soon  as  they  stopped  to  pitch  the  tents, 
the  oki  man  was  taken  from  his  camel,  and  a  drink 
of  water  or  milk  given  him,  for  they  take  care  to 
save  some  for  that  particular  purpose.  When  the  tent 
was  pitched,  he  was  carefully  taken  up  and  placed 
under  it  on  their  mat,  where  he  could  go  to  sleep: — 
this  man's  voice  was  very  feeble,  squeaking,  and  hol- 
low. The  remarkably  old  man  I  am  speaking  of 
belonged  to  a  family  that  always  pitched  their  tent 
near  ours,  so  that  I  had  an  opportunity  of  witnessing 
the  manner  of  his  treatment  for  several  days  toge- 
ther, which  was  uniformly  the  same. 

After  I  was  redeemed  in  Mogadore  I  asked  my 
inaster  Sidi  Hamet  of  what  age  he  supposed  this  old 
man  to  'lave  been,  and  he  said  about  eight  Zille  or 
Arabic  centuries.     Now  an  Arabic  century,  or  Zi//«, 


is  forty  lunar  years  of  twelve  moons  in  each  year,  so 
that  by  this  computation  he  must  have  been  neai  iy 
three  hundred  years  old:  he  also  told  me  that  it  was 
Ycry  common  to  find  Arabs  on  different  parts  of  the 
great  desart,  five  Zille  old,  retaining  all  their  facul- 
ties, and  that  he  had  seen  a  great  many  of  the  .  ages 
of  from  seven  to  eight  Zille.  He  further  said,  that 
my  old  master  from  whom  he  bought  me  had  lived 
nearly  five  Zille  or  centuries,  though  he  was  very 
strong  and  active ;  and  from  the  appearance  of  a  threat 
many  others  in  the  same  tribe  I  could  have  no  doubt 
but  they  were  much  older.  I  then  asked  him  how 
they  knew  their  own  ages,  and  he  answered — "  Every 
family  keeps  a  record  of  the  ages  and  names  of  its 
children,  which  they  always  preserve  and  pack  up 
in  the  same  bag  in  which  they  carry  the  Koran." — I 
told  him  that  few  people  in  other  parts  of  the  world 
lived  to  the  age  of  two  Zille  and  a  half,  and  the  people 
of  those  countries  would  not  believe  such  a  story. 

"  The  Arabs  who  live  on  the  desart  (said  he)  subsist 
entirely  on  the  milk  of  their  camels;  it  is  the  miik  of 
an  aniaial  that  we  call  sacred,  and  it  causes  long  hfe  : 
those  who  live  on  nothing  else,  have  no  sickness  nor 
disorders,  and  are  particularly  favoured  by  heaven  : 
but  only  carry  the  same  people  off  from  the  desart.  and 
let  them  live  on  meat,  and  bread,  and  fruits,  they 
then  become  subject  to  every  kind  of  pain  and  sick- 
ness when  they  are  young,  and  only  live  to  the  age 
of  about  two  Zille  and  a  half  at  the  most,  while  a 
great  many  die  very  young,  and  not  one-tenth  part 
of  the  men  or  women  live  to  the  -age  of  one  Zille.  I 
myself  (added  he)  always  feel  well  when  I  live  on 

376  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

the  ral!k  of  the  cauiel  alone,  even  though  I  do  not 
get  half  as  much  as  I  want,  for  then  I  am  strong;  and 
can  bear  heat,  and  cold,  and  fatigue,  much  better  than 
when  I  live  on  flesh,  and  bread,  and  fruit,  and  have 
plenty  of  good  fresh  water  to  drink,  and  if  I  could 
always  have  as  much  camel's  milk  as  I  could  drink,  I 
would  never  taste  of  meat  again  :  but  I  love  bread 
and  honey  very  much." — This  account  from  an  Arab 
who  was  my  friend  and  the  preserver  of  my  life,  and 
one  who  had  traversed  the  desait  in  many  directions., 
and  who  was  also  a  good  scholar  for  an  Arab,  and  on 
whose  veracity  1  could  rely,  together  with  what  fell 
under  my  own  observation,  has  removed  all  doubt 
from  my  mind  on  that  subject,  and  I  am  fully  of 
opinion,  that  hundreds  and  thousands  of  Arabs  on 
this  vast  expanse  of  desart,  actually  live  to  the  age 
of  two  hundred  years  of  our  calendar.  My  reasons 
for  this  belief,  in  addition  to  those  already  given,  are, 

1st.  That  their  lives  are  regular,  from  the  day  of 
their  birth  to  the  day  of  their  death. 

2d.  That  there  is  no  variation  in  their  food, 
which  is  of  the  most  pure  and  nutritive  kind,  and  can- 
not cause  in  them  disorders  originating  from  indiges- 
tion, &c.  6i,c. 

3d.  That  the  climate  they  inhabit,  though  hot, 
is  perfectly  dry,  and  consequently  must  be  healthy 
for  those  born  there  ;  and, 

4th.  That  in  their  wandering  life  they  are  never 
subjected  to  hard  bodily  labour,  and  their  daily  move- 
ments atRu'd  tliem  sufficient  exercise  to  promote  a  due 
circulation  of  the  fluids  ;  nor  do  they  ever  taste  wine 
or  any  ardent  spirits,  being  entirely  out  of  the  way  of 


those  articles,  and  are  besides  strictly  forbidden  by 
their  reh'gion.  I  am  no  physician,  and  cannot  there^ 
fore  enter  into  any  learned  disquisition  on  this  subject, 
but  merely  give  my  own  impressions  respecting  it, 
without  pretending  to  be  less  liable  to  err  in  judg- 
ment than  others.  It  cannot  be  doubted  but  that  the 
Arabs  existed  as  a  wandering  race  long  before  the 
time  of  the  Greeks,  and  it  is  possible  that  they  pos- 
sessed in  those  early  ages  the  art  of  writing,  and  reck- 
oned time  by  the  same  method  they  do  at  this  day; 
say  forty  lunar  years  for  a  Zille  or  century,  and  that 
in  translating  or  quoting  from  their  writings,  a  Zille 
may  have  been  taken  for  a  hundred  of  our  years. 

The  tribe  of  Arabs  to  which  I  belonged,  owned 
four  horses,  or  rather  mares;  they  were  the  general 
property,  and  were  fed  on  milk,  and  watered  every 
two  days:  with  these  animals  they  hunt  the  ostrich, 
and  with  this  view,  having  agreed  on  the  time  and 
place,  the  whole  of  the  men  assemble  before  day- 
light on  their  camels,  and  surround  a  certain  spot  of 
ground  where  they  calculate  on  finding  ostriches, 
witii  the  horses  to  windward,  and  their  riders  with 
loaded  muskets  in  their  hands:  they  then  approach 
each  other  until  they  start  the  ostriches,  who  seeing 
themselves  surrounded  on  all  sides  but  one,  run  to 
the  southward  before  the  wind,  followed  by  the 
horses,  wiiich  it  is  said  run  extremely  swift,  and  pres- 
sing on  the  ostrich  very  hard,  the  bird  runs  himself 
out  of  breath  in  about  three  hours,  when  the  men  on 
horseback  come  up  and  shoot  him:  but  let  these 
birds  run  against  the  wind,  and  no  horse  can  overtake 
them,  for  then  they  do  not  lose  their  breath. 

3  € 

378  CAPTAJN  riley's  narrative. 

After  my  arrival  at  Mogadore,  I  heard  of  the  Heirie^ 
or  small  swift  camel  of  the  desart,  but  I  never  saw 
any  camel  that  differed  from  the  common  one  either 
in  size  or  shape,  and  can  only  suppose  that  it  may 
be  a  camel  of  the  same  race  trained  for  running  swift, 
and  fed  on  milk  like  the  horses.  The  common  camel 
can  easily  travel  one  hundred  miles  in  a  day.  A  good 
new  milch  camel  gives  at  one  milking  when  on  the 
desart  about  one  quart,  which  is  very  rich  and  good : 
this  is  besides  what  suffices  to  sustain  the  young 
camel,  and  is  drawn  at  midnight — 'they  only  draw 
about  a  gill  in  the  morning. 

Most  of  the  Arabs  are  well  armed  with  good 
double-barrelled  French  fowHng  pieces,  (which  have 
excellent  locks)  and  with  good  scimitars  and  knives: 
each  has  a  kind  of  bag  to  carry  his  slugs,  &;c.  in,  slung 
by  his  neck  and  hanging  down  to  his  waist  on  the 
left  side:  their  big  powder-horn  is  suspended  in 
like  manner :  this  contains  coarse  powder,  and  is 
used  for  loading  the  muskets,  but  they  all  have  a  lit- 
tle, horn  in  which  to  carry  their  fine  powder  for  prim- 
ing. Many  of  the  gun  barrels  that  I  saw  were 
worn  through,  and  the  holes  were  stopped  up  by 
brazing : — they  have  procured  many  of  their  guns  no 
doubt  by  shipwrecks  on  the  coast  of  the  desart; 
many  more  from  caravans  that  they  have  overpower- 
ed, and  others  in  the  way  of  trade  from  the  French 
settlements  of  Senegal,  and  from  Tunis,  Tripoli,  and 
others  ports  on  the  Mediterranean  Sea.  I  did  not 
see  a  single  Moorish  musket  or  lock  during  the  time 
I  was  among  the  Arabs  of  the  desart :  they  were  all 
made  in  Europe,   and  generally  in   Paris,  with  the 


maker's  name  on  the  locks.  They  have  tolerably 
good  powder,  which  they  say  they  know  how  to  nianu- 
fkcture,  but  do  not  make  it  fine,  so  that  first  rate  Eng- 
lish or  French  musket  powder  is  much  in  request, 
and  looked  upon  as  invaluable  for  priming.  Their 
swords  or  scimitars  they  most  probably  obtain  by 
the  same  means  as  their  muskets :  they  are  ever 
ready  to  attack  an  inferior,  or  even  an  equal  force, 
and  fight  for  the  sake  of  plunder. 

Their  language  is  the  ancient  Arabic;  is  spoken 
with  orreat  fluency,   and  is  distinguished  for  its  pow- 
erful emphasis,  and  elegant   cadence.     When  they 
converse  peaceably,  (and   they  are   much  given  to 
talking  with  each  other)  it  thrills  on  the  ear  like  the 
breathinjrs   of  soft   wind-music,  and   excites  in  the 
soul  the  most  soothing  sensations ;  but  when  they 
speak  in  anger,   it  sounds  as  hoarse  as  the  roarings 
of  irritated  lions,  or  the  most  furious  beasts  of  prey. 
They  attack  the  small  towns  in  the  vicinity  of  the 
desart,  on  all  sides ;  which  are  walled  in  to  ward  off 
their  incursions:  if  they  are  successful,  they  put  all 
to  the  sword,  burn  the  towns,  and  retire  again  to  the 
desart  with    their    spoil.      Such  is   the   wandering 
Arab   of  the   great  African  Desart :    his   hand  is 
against  every  man,   and  consequently  every  man's 
hand  is  against  him. 


The  Arabian  camel,  called  by  the  ancients  and 
by  naturalists,  the  dromedary,  is,  perhaps,  the  most 
singular,  and  at  the  same  time  one  of  the  most  useful 


animals  in  nature.  He  is,  when  full  grown,  from 
eight  to  nine  feet  in  height,  and  about  ten  to  twelve 
feet  in  length,  from  the  end  of  his  nose  to  the  root 
of  his  .tail;  his  body  is  small,  compared  with  his 
height ;  his  neck  resembles  in  shape  that  of  a  goose 
more  than  any  other  animal,  being  long  and  slender, 
and  it  seems  to  grow  out  of  the  lower  part  of  his 
body,  between  his  fore  legs  :  he  raises  his  head  to 
the  height  of  his  back,  poking  his  nose  out  horizon- 
tally, so  that  his  face  looks  directly  upwards,  and 
his  nose  bone  so  high  as  to  be  on  a  line  with  the  top 
of  the  bunch  on  his  back  :  his  head  is  small,  his  ears 
short ;  his  eyes  are  of  various  colours,  from  a  black 
to  almost  a  white;  bright,  and  sparkling  with  in- 
stinctive intelligence,  and  placed  on  the  sides  of  his 
head  in  such  a  manner,  that  he  can  see  before,  be- 
hind, and  on  every  side  at  the  same  time.  His  tail 
is  short,  and  hangs  like  that  of  a  cow,  with  a  small 
bunch  of  hair  at  the  end :  his  legs  are  long  and 
slender,  though  their  joints  are  stout  and  strong :  his 
feet  are  divided  something  like  those  of  an  ox ;  but 
he  has  no  hoof  except  on  the  extreme  points  of  the. 
toes ;  in  other  parts  they  are  only  covered  with  skin, 
and  are  soft  and  yielding  :  the  soles  of  his  feet  are  not 
thicker  than  stout  sole  leather:  he  is  generally  of 
a  light  ash  colour,  but  varying  from  that  to  a  dark 
brown,  and  sometimes  a  reddish  brown :  many  of 
thehi  are  also  marked  with  white  spots  or  stripes  on 
their  forelieads,  and  on  diiferent  parts  of  their  bodies  : 
the  hair  on  his  body  is  short  and  fine,  like  the  finest 
of  wool,  and  serves  the  Arabs  instead  of  that  neces- 
sary article,  widi  which  they  make  their  tent  cloth 
and  coarse  covering :  it  is  pulled  or  else  falls  off  once 


a  year:  the  hair  about  his  throat  and  on  the  iiump 
is  eight  or  ten  inches  in  length,  and  hangs  down  :  he 
has  a  high  bunch  on  his  back,  which  rises  from  his 
shoulders,  and  comes  to  a  blunt  point  at  about  the 
centre  of  his  back,  and  tapers  off  to  his  hips:  this 
bunch  is  from  one  to  two  feet  hioh  above  the  back 
bone,  and  not  attached  to  it  nor  to  the  frame  of  the. 
camel,  so  that  in  skinning  him,  the  Arabs  take  off  the 
bunch  with  it,  which  is  larger  or  smaller,  as  the  ca- 
mel is  fat  or  lean.  He  who  rides  on  a  camel  without 
a  saddle  (which  saddle  is  peculiarly  constructed  so 
as  not  to  touch  the  bunch)  is  forced  to  get  on  behind 
it,  where  the  breadth  of  the  body  keeps  the  rider's 
legs  extended  very  wide,  while  he  is  obliged  to  keep 
himself  from  slipping  off  over  the  beast's  tail,  by 
clenching  both  hands  into  the  long  hair  that  covers 
the  bunch. 

The  camel  is  a  very  domestic  animal ;  he  lies 
down  on  his  belly  at  the  command  of  his  master, 
folding  his  legs  under  him  something  like  a  sheep; 
there  he  remains  to  receive  his  rider  or  his  burden, 
when  he  rises  at  a  word,  and  proceeds  in  the  way  he 
is  driven  or  directed,  with  the  utmost  docility  and 
cheerfulness,  while  his  master  encourages  him  by 
singing.  The  Arabs  use  neither  bridle  nor  halter, 
but  guide  and  manage  the  camel  (whose  head  is 
quite  at  liberty)  by  means  of  a  stick,  assisted  by  words 
and  sounds  of  the  tongue;  having  one  sound  to  urge 
him  on  faster;  one  to  make  him  go  slower;  and  a 
third,  which  is  a  kind  of  cluck  with  the  tongue,  to 
make  him  stop.  He  chews  his  cud  like  an  ox,  and 
has  no  fore  teeth  in  his  upper  jaw;  but  his  lips  are 


long  and  rough,  so  that  he  nips  off  the  rugged  shrubs 
without  difficulty,  on  which  he  is  obhged  to  feed. 
The  camel  seems  to  have  been  formed  bj  nature  to 
live  on  desarts  :  he  is  patient,  fleet,  strong,  and  hardy  ; 
can  endure  hunger  and  thirst  better  than  any  other 
animal ;  can  travel  through  deep  and  dead  sands 
with  great  ease,  and  over  the  flinty  parts  of  the  des- 
art  without  difficulty,  though  it  is  hard  for  him  to  go 
up  or  down  steep  hills  and  mountains,  and  to  travel 
on  muddy  roads,  as  he  slips  about  and  strains  himself; 
but  he  is  sure-footed,  and  walks  firmly  on  a  hard  dry 
surface,  or  on  sand.  I  have  never  made  the  natural 
history  of  animals  my  study,  and  it  cannot  be  experted 
that  I  should  be  acquainted  with  the  particular  for- 
mation of  their  interior  parts;  but  I  will  venture  to 
say  a  {ew  words  in  reo;ard  to  those  of  the  camel, 
without  fear  of  contradiction  from  any  one  who  shall 
see  and  examine  for  himself,  having  assisted  in  butch- 
ering three  camels  while  a  slave. 

The  camel  is  described  by  naturalists  as  having, 
besides  the  four  stomachs  common  to  ruminating 
animals,  a  fifth  bag,  exclusively  as  a  reservoir  for 
water,  where  it  remains  without  corrupting  or  mixing 
with  the  otheraiiments:  this  is  a  mistake — forthe  has: 
that  holds  the  water  contains  also  the  chewed  her- 
bage, and  is  in  the  camel  what  a  paunch  is  in  an  ox. 
Into  this  bag  all  the  rough  chewed  herbage  enters, 
where  it  is  softened  by  the  water,  thrown  again  into 
the  mouth,  chewed  over,  and  passes  off  by  another 
canal,  and  the  foeces  are  so  dry,  that  the  day  after  they 
are  voided,  the  Arabs  strike  fire  on  them  instead  of 
touchwood  or  punk.     Having  to  draw  water  for  these 


animals,  I  am  certain  that  the  largest  sized  ones  drink 
at  least  two  barrels  of  water  at  one  time,  when  they 
have  been  long  without  it,  and  that  the  whole  of  the 
camels  belonging  to  the  tribe  bj  whom  I  was  made  a 
slave,  which  were  then  at  a  well,  did  not  again  get  a 
drop  of  water  within  twenty  days  :  these  camels  were 
at  least  two  thousand  in  number,  and  were  then  on 
one  of  the  hottest  and  dryest  parts  of  the  great  west- 
ern desart,  Avhere  there  w  as  scarcely  a  green  leaf  or 
shrub  to  be  found,  and  their  owners  knew  how  far  it 
was  back  to  the  same  watering-place  at  which  myself 
and  crew  were  seized,  and  to  which'  they  drove  them 
again  at  the  end  of  that  period — and  even  that  water 
was  almost  as  black  as  ink,  owing  probably  to  its 
stagnant  state  in  the  well,  and  very  brackish,  because 
it  filtered  through  the  sand  beach  from  the  ocean, 
which  was  not  more  than  three  hundred  yards  from 
the  well;  and  these  camels  went  twenty  days  with- 
out water: — under  such  circumstances  I  have  not  the 
smallest  doubt  but  that  they  can  go  thirty  or  forty 
days  without  water  before  they  would  die  with  thirst. 
At  the  end  of  fifteen  days  after  watering  the'camels, 
my  old  master,  Mohammed  Besso,  killed  an  old  and 
very  poor  camel,  and  I  was  obliged  to  assist  in  dressing, 
though  not  in  eating  it,  for  its  flesh,  bones,  and  intes- 
tines, w^re  divided  among  the  whole  tribe ;  a  small 
piece  to  each  family :  they  cut  open  the  paunch  of 
this  camel,  (for  he  had  no  other  bag  to  contain  water) 
and  dipped  out  the  contents,  though  thick  with  foeces, 
in  order  to  boil  the  intestines  in  it,  as  well  as  to  drink. 
When  my  master,  Sidi  Haraet,  killed  a  camel  to  give 
me  and   my   companions  some  meat,    and   procure 

384  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

something  to  sustain  us  on  our  journey  across  the 
desart,  the  paunch  was  rolled  out  of  the  camel,  and 
the  water  taken  from  it,  thick  as  it  was,  to  boil  the 
uncleansed  intestines.  After  drinking  this  stuff  we 
put  the  remainder  (about  two  gallons)  with  the  filth  it 
contained,  into  one  of  our  bottles  or  goat  skins,  and  it 
served  to  sustain  life,  though  the  most  rank  and 
nauseous  both  to  the  smell  and  taste  that  can  be 

The  camel  is  considered  hy  the  Arab  as  a  sacred 
animal :  with  him  he  can  transport  a  load  of  merchan- 
dise of  several  hundred  weight  with  certainty  and 
celerity  through  desarts  utterly  impassible  with  any 
other  animal :  on  him  the  wanderins:  Arab  can  flee 
with  his  family  from  any  enemy  across  the  trackless 
waste  one  hundred  miles  or  more  in  a  single  day  if 
he  wishes,  and  out  of  the  reach  of  his  pursuers,  for 
the  desart,  like  the  ocean,  neither  retains  nor  discloses 
any  trace  of  the  traveller.  Its  milk  is  both  food  and 
drink  for  the  whole  family,  and  when  they  have  a 
suificiency  of  that  article,  they  are  contented,  and 
desire  no'lhing  more  :  with  his  camel  the  Arab  is  per- 
fectly independent,  and  can  bid  defiance  to  all  the 
forces  that  uncivilized  foes  can  send  a^rainst  him: 
with  him  they  collect  in  strong  bands,  all  well  armed, 
and  fall  upon  the  caravans,  slaying  without  mercy 
all  they  can  overpower,  and  divide  their  spoil:  should 
they  meet  with  a  repulse,  they  can  flee  and  soon  be 
out  of  sight:  they  also  attack  the  settlements  and 
small  walled  towns  in  the  cultivated  country  near 
the  desart,  and  if  strong  enonp:h.  destrov  all  the 
inhabitants,  and  drive  oifthe  cattle  :  all  tlic  goods  of 


the  sfain  they  carry  away  on  their  camels,  and  return 
to  the  desart,  where  no  force  can  pursue  them  without 
meeting  with  certain  destruction. 

The  camel's  motions   are   extremely   heavy   and 
jolting ;  his  legs  being  long,  he  steps  a  great  distance, 
and  though  he  appears  to  go  slowly  when  on  a  walk, 
■yet  he  proceeds  at  about  the   rate  of   four  miles   an 
hour,  and  it  is  difficult  for   a  man  to  keep  pace   with 
him  without  runninjj.    When  the  camel  trots,  he  iroes 
very  fast ;    the    small    trot  being  about  six,  and  the 
great  one   about  eight  miles  an  hour — this  they  can 
do  with  great  ease  with  light  loads  for  a  whole  day 
together,  and  will  replenish   their  stomachs  at  night 
with  the  leaves  and  twigs  of  the  sullen  thorn-bush, 
that  is    barely  permitted   by   nature    to  vegetate  in 
that  most  dreary  and  desolate  of  all  regions.     The 
flesh  of  the   camel   is  good  for  food  ;  and  that  of  the 
young  ones  is  esteemed  preferable  to  that  of  the  ox: 
they  bring  forth  a  single  young  one  at  a  time,   and 
generally   once    in   about  two    years,    their  time   of 
gestation  being  about  one  year.     When  the  camel  is 
in  a  heat,  he  is  extremely  vicious,  so  that  none  dare 
come  near  him  :  his  organ  in  some  measure  resembles 
that  of  a  horse,  but   it  has   a  contrary  direction,  so 
that  the  water  is  voided  behind ;  and  when  obeying 
one   of  the  most  important  instincts  of  nature,  he  ie 
obliged  to  make  his  approach  in   a  retrograde   man- 
ner.    In  the  year  1804  I  was  in  the  island  of  Lanza- 
rote,    one  of  the    Canaries,   and  loaded  my   vessel 
(the    brig    Eliza    and    Mary    of    New-York)    with 
barilla,  which  I  carried  to  Belfast  in  Ireland ; — the 
barilla  is  brought  from  the  interior  of  the  island  to 

3  D 

386  CAPTAIN  Riley's  narrative. 

the  port  on  camels,  from  whose  backs  I  received  and 
weighed  it.  Their  common  loads  were  from  nine  to 
twelve  quintals  of  one  hundred  pounds;  but  many- 
loads  overran  that  weight,  and  one  load  in  particu- 
lar weighed  over  fifteen  hundred  pounds.  Those 
were  the  same  kind  of  camels  used  in  Barbary,  and 
on  the  desart,  and  indeed  I  never  saw  any  other  kind : 
they  are  said  to  come  to  their  full  growth  in  six  or 
eight  years,  and  to  live,  in  many  instances,  to  the  age 
of  fifty  or  sixty. 


Some  account  of  Suse,  or  South  Barbary^  and  of  its 
inhabitants,  cities,  c^c. — the  primitive  plough  and  mode 
of  using  it — -primkive  churn  and  method  of  making 

The  country  o^Suse,  or  South  Barbary,  is  bounded 
by  the  Moorish  province  o(  Hah-Hah  on  the  east,  by 
the  Atlas  mountains  and  the  great  desart,  south,  and 
by  the  Atlantic  Ocean  on  the  north  and  west :  its 
length  from  east  to  west  is  about  two  hundred  and 
fifty  miles;  its  breadth  from  north  to  south  one  hun- 
dred miles.  In  coming  from  the  desart,  its  principal 
towns  are,  Waldeleim,  which  is  said  to  be  very  large 
and  strong,  and  to  contain  ten  thousand  inhabitants. 
Widnoon  is  much  the  largest  town  in  Suse,  and  its 
inhabitants  are  computed  by  the  Arabs  at  thirty  thou- 
sand.     Schelem    contains    four    thousand.      Siuka, 


where  I  was  shut  up  a  slave,  does  not  appear  to  be 
a  principal  town,  but  is  made  up  of  a  cluster  of  small 
ones,  nor  could  I  learn  the  names  of  the  many  little 
towns  or  castles  in  sight  of  which  I  passed  coming 
up :  it  was  formerly  a  kingdom,  and  was  afterwards 
united  to  those  of  Morocco  and  Fez,  which  now  form 
the  Moorish  empire.  Suse  has  however  become 
entirely  independent,  for  though  the  emperor  of 
Morocco  claims  jurisdiction  over  the  whole  of  Suse, 
and  indeed  of  the  whole  desart  as  far  south  as  Soudan, 
yet  all  those  countries  are  in  fact  independent,  and 
the  emperor's  power  extends  only  a  few  leagues 
south  and  west,  from  a  line  drawn  through  Santa  Cruz 
or  Agader,  and  Tarudant,  south  to  the  Atlas. 

The  soil  of  this  country  is  very  rich  and  fruitful : 
here  wheat,  barley,  and  indian  corn,  or  maize,  are 
cultivated,  and  most  kinds  of  kitchen  garden  vegeta- 
bles   thrive    with   great   luxuriance:  the    date,   fig, 
pomegranate,  olive,  orange,  lemon,  sweet  and  bitter 
almond,  arga,  and  many  other  fruit  and  forest  trees, 
thrive   exceedingly   well,    and    produce,   it   is   said, 
great  abundance  in  their  seasons :  the  gum  arabic 
and    sanderach   are   also   produced  there  in   great 
quantities.     The   country  being  speckled  over  with 
small  cities,   towns,   and  castles,  all  strongly  walled 
in  with  stone  laid  in  clay,  is  calculated  to  remind  one 
of  the   times  of  the   feudal  system;  each   place  is 
under  the   government  of  its  own  chief,  who  is  by 
common  consent  the  head  of  the  family :  they  are 
under  a  kind  of  patriarchal  government,  and  each 
individual  feels  himself  perfectly  free  and  indepen- 
dent.    In  case  of  attack  or  danger,  all  unite  for  the 
general  defence,  under  such  leaders  as  shall  have 

388  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

proved  themselves  brave,  enterprising,  and  worthy 
of  command ;  and  bj  this  means  thej  are  enabled 
to  secure  themselves  against  the  frequent  inroads 
and  insults  of  the  wandering  Arabs,  who  inhabit 
the  great  Desart  in  their  vicinity,  and  to  repel  the 
more  formidable  attacks  of  the  forccH  of  the  Moor- 
ish emperor.  They  raise  great  numbers  of  camels, 
horses,  asses,  mules,  oxen,  goats,  and  sheep,  which 
are  guarded  by  their  negro  slaves,  (of  whom  they 
have  many)  or  by  the  young  boys,  and  they  are 
driven  into  their  towns  or  castles  every  night  to  pre- 
vent their  being  surprised  and  carried  off  by  the 
Arabs,  or  other  predatory  neighbours :  their  horses 
are  very  handsome,  strong,  and  fleet,  of  the  real 
Arabian  kind,  and  very  high  spirited. 

The  inhabitants  are  of  a  tawny  colour,  like  the 
Moors,  though  not  quite  so  dark,  and  I  was  informed 
they  were  principally  descendants  of  the  ancient  in- 
habitants of  the  country  before  it  was  overrun  by 
the  Arabs  or  Saracens  :  they  are  in  their  persons 
about  five  feet  eio-ht  or  nine  inches  in  heio-ht;  stout 
built,  robust,  and  athletic,  and  are  very  straight 
limbed  :  they  have  rather  a  round  visage,  with  pro- 
minent features,  black  hair,  sharp  pointed  noses,  and 
great  bushy  beards:  their  eyes  are  black,  but  not  so 
lively,  expressive,  or  intelligent,  as  those  of  the 
Arabs:  their  mouths  are  wide,  and  their  lips  plump. 
Their  dress  consists  of  a  kind  of  shirt  made  of  blue 
guinea  or  linen  cloth,  or  coarse  white  muslin,  that 
passes  over  their  shoulders,  and  falls  down  near 
their  knees,  but  without  sleeves :  over  this,  they 
w^ear  a  haick  or  blanket  made  of  woollen  cloth,  of 
iibput  five  yards  in  length,  and  an  c\\  in  width :  this 



they  wrap  round  them;  some  of  them  also  wear  the 
cloak,  or  sulam,  and  Moorish  trowsers;  and  have  on 
their  heads  either  turbans  oF  white  cotton  cloth,  or 
a  fold  of  their  haick.  The  heads  of  the  men  are 
generally  shaved  smooth,  at  least  once  a  month: 
their  women,  like  those  of  the  Moors,  are  not  to  be 
seen  by  the  men,  except  their  husbands  or  fathers  : 
the  men  are  very  industrious,  and  work  their  land 
by  ploughing  it  up  with  a  plough  formed  out  of  the 
trunk  of  a  tree  hewn  sharp  to  a  point  that  projects 
about  two  feet  forward,  from  a  stout  crooked  limb, 
that  serves  as  a  beam  to  the  plough ;  while  a  small- 
er, and  particularly  formed  limb,  is  used  as  a  handle 
to  steady  and  govern  it.  In  order  to  fix  their  ani- 
mals to  the  plough,  they  first  attach  them  together, 
say  a  cow  and  an  ass,  (for  this  seemed  to  make  a 
favourite  pair,  and  I  observed  a  great  many  such 
pairs  yoked  together)  by  fastening  a  rope  round  the 
horns  of  the  cow,  and  about  the  nose  of  the  ass  in 
form  of  a  halter:  they  nest  place  a  short  piece  or 
stick  of  wood,  hollowed  out  like  one  end  of  an  ox 
yoke,  across  the  neck  of  each  animal,  and  fasten  it 
by  means  of  a  rope  tied  to  one  end  of  the  stick ; 
this  going  round  under  their  necks,  is  made  fast  to 
the  other  end  of  the  short  yoke ;  tliey  then  run  a 
long  pole  through  under  their  bellies  just  behind 
their  fore  legs,  and  fasten  it  there  by  means  of  two 
ropes,  like  the  draw  ropes  or  traces  of  a  horse's 
harness:  these  are  fixed  to  the  rope  that  goes 
round  the  animal's  neck  at  one  end,  which  pole 
serves  for  a  yoke,  and  projects  out  a  foot  or  two  on 
each  side:    to  the  centre  of  this  pole,  the  end  of 


the  plough  beam  is  lashed  fast.  The  point  which 
enters  the  ground,  is  hewn  in  a  triangular  shape, 
but  the  edges  soon  wear  off,  so  that  it  becomes 
nearly  round.  In  loamy  and  sandy  soils,  they  plough 
with  the  naked  wood,  but  in  stony  places  they  point 
it  with  a  round  piece  of  iron,  tapering  to  a  sharp 
point  that  lets  on  with  a  socket :  it  turns  up  the 
earth  on  both  sides,  and  goes  into  the  ground  about 
•eight  inches  deep.  The  people  of  Suse  and  those 
of  Morocco,  use  only  one  pair  of  beasts,  whatever 
they  may  be,  and  have  lines  leading  from  the  heads 
of  the  aniioals  into  the  hands  of  him  who  steadies 
the  plough,  by  means  of  which  he  directs  and  go- 
verns theai :  he  also  carries  a  thick  stick  sufficientlv 
long  to  reach  them,  with  a  sharp-pointed  iron  like  a 
spear  in  its  end;  by  the  help  of  which  he  pricks 
and  goads  his  beasts  along  at  pleasure.  This  in- 
strument is  an  ox-goad,  and  no  doubt  is  similar  to 
those  spoken  of  in  Sacred  Writ — 1st  Samuel,  iii.  1. 
but  these  Moors  do  not  obey  that  part  of  the  law 
of  Moses ;  "  Thou  shalt  not  plough  with  an  ox  and 
an  ass  together."  See  22d  chapter  of  Deuterono- 
my, 10th  verse,  except  by  sometimes  substituting  a 
cow  instead  of  an  ox.  This,  I  imagine,  was  the 
primitive  plough,  or  something  very  near  it,  and  the 
first  method  hit  upon  for  using  it. 

I  have  also  promised  to  treat  of  the  primitive 
churn,  and  manner  of  making  butter,  which  is  sim- 
ply this.  The  Arabs,  or  people  who  inhabited  the 
country  near  the  river  Enphiates,  as  long  ago  as 
the  tinie  of  Abraham,  the  father  of  the  Jews,  and 
probably  much  earlier,  knew  the  use  of  the  camel. 


and  actually  kept  him  in  a  domestic  state :  they 
would  very  naturally  feed  on  its  milk,  and  they,  no 
doubt,  in  those  days,  made  use  of  the  same  means  to 
carry  their  milk  about  with  them,  that  the  wander- 
ing Arabs  do  at  present — that  is,  whatever  milk  is 
left  of  what  the  family  has  been  using  over  night  or 
in  the  morning,  is  put  into  a  goat  skin,  or  some 
other  skin,  and  slung  on  a  camel  to  serve  for  drink 
in  the  heat  of  the  day — thus  equipped,  they  set  of? 
together :  and  when  they  stop  to  take  refreshment 
or  to  pitch  their  tent,  they  find  a  lump  of  butter  in 
the  milk ;  for  the  vi^.tint  and  continued  agitation 
occasioned  by  the  heavy  motions  of*  the  camel,  hag 
churned,  or  forced  it  to  produce  butter:  this  simple 
method  was  suggested  to  my  mind  by  seeing  a  lump 
of  butter  in  my  old  master's  milk  bag,  when  we  were 
wandering  on  the  desart — this  must,  without  doubt, 
have  been  the  Lrst  mode  found  out  by  chance,  of 
making  butter ;  for  what  reason  would  he  have, 
who  had  never  seen  such  a  thing  as  butter,  for  sup- 
posing milk  could  be  converted  into  that  substance, 
more  than  any  other  fluid?  For  a  further. illustra- 
tion of  this  subject,  and  a  view  of  the  camel,  see 
plate,  figure  7,  copied  from  an  original  drawing  by 
the  author. 

T!ic  country  of  Suse,  altogether,  resembles  the 
narrow  country  as  described  in  Holy  Writ,  called 
the  land  of  Canaan  :  its  vast  number  of  small  cities, 
or  rather  castles,  with  high  and  strong  v*^alls,  with 
gates  and  bars,  each  under  its  own  sovereign,  must 
be  similar  to  the  cities  there  described,  as  taken  and 
destroyed  by  the  Jews,  (together  with  their  kings) 

392  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

soon  after  thej  emerged  from  the  desarts  of  Arabia, 
under  the  command  of  their  chieftain  and  prophet, 
Joshua,  and  have,  doubtless,  been  constructed  for 
the  same  purpose;  i.  e.  to  guard  against  the  irrup- 
tions of  the  wandering  inhabitants  of  the  contiguous 
desarts,  &c.  The  inhabitants  are  brave  and  war- 
like:  all  well  armed  with  single-barrelled  muskets, 
stocked  and  mounted  in  the  Moorish  manner,  and 
•with  Moorish  locks;  they  have  also  knives,  daggers, 
scimitars,  and  swords,  and  are  the  best  of  horse- 
men :  thev  seldom  or  ever  go  out  of  their  little  cities 
unarmed  ;  but  like  the  wandering  Arab  on  the  de- 
sart,  they  are  completely  equipped  either  for  oifence 
or  defence,  even  when  they  go  to  visit  their  nearest 
friends.  They  are  said  to  be,  like  the  Arabs,  warm 
and  sincere  in  their  friendship;  in  their  enmities  im- 
placable, cruel,  and  revengeful;  and  io  trade,  cun- 
ning and  deceitful. 

The  whole  number  of  inhabitants  in  Suse,  inclu- 
dino-  white  and  black  slaves,  is  estimated  at  near 
07ie  million :  they  are  all  strict  obserNois  ol  the 
Mohammedan  doctrine  and  ceremonies,  and  appear 
to  be  enthusiasts  in  religion,  though  like  the  Moors 
tiiey  are  not  generally  taught  the  aits  of  reading 
and  writino-,  and  are  in  consequence  considered  by 
the  wandering  Arabs  much  beneath  them  in  acquire- 
ments, as  well  as  in  point  of  natural  abilities. 
Their  language  is  the  corrupt  Arabic,  not  easily 
understood  by  the  Arabs  of  the  dcsart,  who  pre- 
tend to  speak,  and  write  tliat  ancient  and  beautiful 
language  in  its  greatest  purity. 



Some  account  of  an  insurrection  in  Morocco — the  Bashaw 
of  Sweat  ah  is  seized  and  put  in  irons — change  of  Gover- 
nors— the  Jews  are  forced  to  pay  their  tribute  or  turn 
J\Iohammed(ins — their  treatment  by  the  J\loors — a  Jew 
burial — a  tir  umcision — a  Jewish  priest  arrives  from, 
Jerusalem — the  author  obtains  from  him  some  account  of> 
the  present  Jerusalem  and  its  inhabitants^  and  of  the 
method  pt  rs  f'd  by  the  priests  for  getting  money  from 
the  Jews  in  Europe  and  in  Barbary — a  Moorish 
execution  and  maiming — of  the  Jews  in  West  Barbary. 

There  had  been  an  insurrection  in  the  province 
of  Duquella  the  last  year,  (1815)  which  had  spread 
itself  into  the  province  of  Abdah  and  Siedmah^  and 
was  said  to  have  originated  from  a  false  report  of 
the  emperor's  death.  The  o;overnor  or  Bashaw  of 
these  provinces,  whose  name  was  Mohammed  ben 
Absedik,  resided  in  Swearah,  and  had  been  a  Bashaw 
and  a  man  of  great  power  during  nearly  the  whole 
reign  of  MulejSoliman.tlie  present  emperor — he  was 
the  officer  before  whom  I  was  carried  on  my  arrival 
at  Swearah,  or  Mogadore.  I  was  informed  that  he 
had  used  all  the  means  in  his  power  to  quell  this 
insurrection,  but  could  not  succeed  until  the  emperor 
joined  him  with  an  army  of  thirty  thousand  men, 
when  a  most  desperate  battle  was  fought,  which 
terminated  in  the  destruction  of  more  than  fifteen 
thousand  of  the  rebels,  and  the  remainder  were 
reduced  to  unconditional  submission.     The  whole  of 



their  flocks,  herds,  and  substance,  fell  into  the  hands 
of  the  Sultan,  or  rather  his  black  troops,  who  showed 
theni  pot  tiie  least  mercy,  but  seized  on  the  wretched 
fugitives  wherever  they  could  be  found,  massacred 
many  thousands,  and  carried  those  that  remained  of 
the  revolters,  with  their  families,  into  the  provinces 
that  had  not  rebelled,  where  they  were  distributed 
as  slaves. 

This  Avar  being  thus  terminated,  Mohammed  ben 
Absedik  had  returned   in  triumph    to  Mogadore,  or 
Swearah,    a  few  days   previous  to  my  arrival  there, 
when  he  caused  presents  to  be  made  to  him,  as  if  he 
had  taken  possession  of  a  new  government.     Jn  the 
mean  time   the  death   of  the  Sultan's  first  minister, 
named  Ben  Slnivij^  was  announced :  he  had  been  the 
^rm  {v'\eA\i\  o{  Mohammed  ben  Jibsedik^  ?inA   with   the 
aid  of  Muley  a  7  m,  (the  Sultan's  princely  tea  maker) 
who   was  always    about   his  person,    managed    the 
whole  affairs    of  the    Moorish  empire.     Ben    Slowy 
being  dead,  and  Muleif  a  Tea  sent  to  Fez  to  transact 
the  imperial  but^iness  in  that  quarter,  the  enemies   of 
Mohammed  ben  Absedik,  (for  he  had  been  long  in 
power,   and  had  a  host    of  them)    found   means    to 
transmit    heavy    complaints   to    the    Sultan  against 
him  (Ben  Absedik)  and  his  administration,  who  per- 
ceiving the  cloud  lowering  upon  him,  set  out  for  Mo- 
rocco about  the  20th  of  November,  1815,  hoping,  by 
an  early  ititcrview  with   the  emperor,  to   dispel    the 
impendins:;  storm — ho  had  only  been  gone  from  Mo- 
gadore  or  Swearah  four  days,  when  late  in  the  evening 
anew  governor  arrived,  accompanied  by  six  hundred 
horsemen.     The  gates  had  been  shut  for  the  night ; 


the  brother  of  the  Bashaw  was  civil  governor  of  the 
city  and  port:  the  emperor's  order  was  sent  to  him 
over  the  wall ; — the  gates  were  soon  opened  and  the 
new  governor,  or  Alcajd,  entered  amidst  the  general 
and  joyful  acclamations  of  the  inhabitants,  both  Mours 
and  Jews.  These  ignorant  and  discontented  people 
(ever  fond  of  change)  flattered  themiielves  that  this 
arrangement  would  be  for  the  better,  and  in  the  morn- 
ing all  were  ready  to  prefer  complaints  against 
their  former  governor,  when  they  waited  on  the 
new  one,  and  made  their  customary  presents.  This 
governor  took  charge  of  the  civil  affairs  of  the  city 
and  the  custom-house  in  the  room  of  Ajjh  Hamet, 
(or  Hamet  the  pilgrim)  the  Bashaw's  brother,  who 
was  ordered  to  repair  with  his  family  to  Moroc"*^' 
and  set  out  for  that  city  the  next  day,  accompanie3 
by  a  strong  guard  of  black  troops. 

In  the  evening  of  the  same  day  a  commander  of 
the  troops,  or  military  governor,  arrived  :  he  was 
a  blackman,  and  had  three  hundred  horsemen  for 
an  escort,  all  of  the  same  colour:  he  was  received 
wifli  considerable  pomp,  and  took  on  himself  the 
immediate  command.  We  now  learned  that  Moham- 
med ben  Absedik  had  been  put  in  irons  on  his  arri- 
•val  at  Morocco,  and  sent  off  to  Fez,  and  that  all  his 
property  was  seized  by  order  of  the  Sultan  as  soon 
as  it  could  be  found  :  "new  lords,  new  laws,"  says  tie 
old  adage.  A  small  vessel  had  arrived  from  Gibial- 
tar — no  goods  could  be  landed — new  duties  were 
announced,  and  new  regulations,  by  which  no  vessel 
was  allowed  to  be  supplied  with  provisions  except 
for  daily  consumption:  the  duties  and  impositions 



to  be  paid  every  day  amounted  to  more  than  the 
first  cost  of  the  articles  consumed. 

The  Moors  who  had  rejoiced  at  the  fall  of  the  old 
Bashaw  and  civil  governor,  or  Alcajd,  soon  changed 
their  tone,  and  began  to  wish  them  back  again — all 
the  Moors  in  the  town  up  to  that  time  were  considered 
as  imperial  soldiers  or  sailors,  and  accordingly  receiv- 
ed a  monthly  allowance  out  of  the  Beetle  mell,  or 
treasury:  this  was  now  ordered  to  be  stopped  from 
the  white  Moors,  but  that  all  the  black  Moors,  or 
negro  troops,  should  be  paid  double :  new  officers 
were  appointed,  and  many  of  the  old  ones  confined 
and  sent  to  Morocco,  or  despoiled  of  their  property. 
The  Christian  merchants  residing  there,  four  in 
umber,  were  obliged  to  make  costly  presents  to  the 
iiew  Governor.  The  Christians  are,  William  Will- 
shire,  Esq.  my  deliverer,  of  the  house  of  Dupuy  and 
Willsliire,  the  most  respectable  there  in  point  of 
property,  as  well  as  on  every  other  account; — Don 
Estevan  Leonardi,  an  old  unfeeling  man,  and  his 
nephew,  Don  Antonio,  French,  Portuguese,  and 
Genoese  consular  agents; — Don  Pablo  Riva,  a  respec- 
table Genoese,  and  Alexander  W.  Court,  and  Mr. 
John  Foxcroft,  formerly  respectable.  The  Jews 
that  were  overjoyed  at  the  recent  change,  sooa 
turned  their  joy  into  mourning,  when  they  received, 
a  day  or  two  after,  an  order  to  pay  their  Gazier^  or 
yearly  tribute,  to  the  Sultan  :  the  order  was  for  about 
three  thousand  five  hundred  dollars,  including  expen- 
ses, (for  the  Moor  who  brought  the  order  must  be 
paid)  in  a  gross  sum  to  be  raised  directly  :  the  gates 
of  the  Jews' town,  or  millah,  were  immediately  closed 



upon  them,  nor  were  any  suffered  to  go  out  until  the 
money  was  fc^th  coming. 

The  whole  number  of  Jews  here  does  not  probably 
exceed  six  thousand  souls,  and  they  are  very  poor  ; 
the  priests  soon  convened  them  in  their  synagogues, 
and  apportioned  the  tax  according  to  their  law — they 
were  classed  thus:  the  four  Jew  merchants,  Ben 
Guidalla,  Macnin,  Abilbol,  and  Zagury,  formed  the 
first  class,  and  I  was  told  their  share  \vas  two  thou- 
sand dollars  or  more  :  the  few  petty  traders  the 
second,  the  mechanics  the  third,  and  the  lowest  order 
of  miserable  labourers  the  fourth  class:  the  priests 
and  Levites  (who  are  a  great  proportion  of  their  num- 
ber) were  of  course  exempted,  as  the  other  classes 
support  them  at  all  times :  not  a  Jew,  either  man, 
woman,  or  child,  was  allowed  to  go  out  of  their  town 
for  three  days,  except  they  were  wanted  by  the 
Moors  or  Christians  to  work,  and  not  then  without 
an  order  from  the  Alcayd. 

During  this  period  I  visited  the  Jews'  towns  several 
times,  but  never  without  seeing  more  or  less  of  these 
miserable  wretches  knocked  down  like  bullocks  by 
the  gate-keepers,  with  their  large  canes,  as  they  at- 
tempted to  rush  past  them,  when  the  gates  were 
opened  to  procure  a  little  water  or  food  for  their 
hungry  and  thirsty  families.  On  the  fourth  day, 
when  the  arrangements  had  been  made  by  the 
priests  and  elders,  they  sent  word  to  the  governor, 
and  the  three  first  classes  were  ordered  before  him 
to  pay  their  apportionment.  I  knew  of  it,  because  I 
was  informed  by  Mr.  Willshire's  interpre  r  and 
broker,  who  was  a  Jew  of  considerable  understand- 

398  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

ing,  named  Ben  JVahory — he  was  one  of  the  commit- 
tee of  arrangement  to  wait  on  the*  governor.  I 
wished  to  see  the  operation,  and  went  to  the  house 
of  the  Alcayd  for  that  purpose.  The  Jews  soon 
appeared  by  classes — as  they  approached,  they  put 
off  their  slippers,  took  their  money  in  both  their  hands, 
and  holding  them  alongside  each  other,  as  high  as 
the  breast,  came  slowly  forward  to  the  talb,  or  Mo- 
hammedan priest,  appointed  to  receive  it ;  he  took 
it  from  them,  hitting  each  one  a  smart  blow  with  his 
fist  on  his  bare  forehead,  by  way  of  a  receipt  for  his 
mon^y,  at  which  the  Jews  said,  JVaAwia  Sidi^  and  re- 
tired to  give  place  to  his  companion. 

Thus  they  proceeded  through  the  three  first  class- 
es without  much  difficulty,  when  the  fourth  class  was 
forced  up  with  big  sticks  ;  this  class  was  very  nume- 
rous, as  well  as  miserable  5)  they  approached  very 
unwillingly,  and  were  asked,  one  by  one,  if  they 
were  roady  to  pay  ihexT  gazier  ;  when  one  said,  yes, 
he  approached  as  the  others  had  done,  paid  his 
money,  took  a  similar  receipt,  and  then  went  about 
his  business — he  that  said,  no,  he  could  not,  or  was 
nut  ready,  was  seized  instantly  by  the  Moors,  who 
throwing  him  flat  on  his  face  to  the  ground, 
gave  \\\m  about  fifty  blows  with  a  thick  stick  upon 
his  back  and  posteriors,  and  conducted  him  away,  I 
was  told,  into  a  dungeon,  under  a  bomb  proof  battery^ 
next  the  western  city  wall,  facing  the  ocean  :  there 
were  many  served  this  way — the  Jews'  town  was  all 
this  time  strongly  guarded,  and  strictly  watched. 
At  the  end  of  three  days  more,  I  was  informed  that 
those   who    were    confined   in   the   dunj^jeon   were 


brought  forth,  but  I  did  not  see  them :  the  friends  of 
some  of  these  poor  creatures  had  made  up  the 
money,  and  they  were  dismissed  :  -whilst  the  others, 
after  receiving  more  stripes,  were  remanded  and  put 
in  irons.  Before  the  next  three  days  had  expired, 
many  of  them  changed  their  reUgion,  were  received 
by  the  Moors  as  brothers,  and  were  taken  to  the 
mosque,  and  highly  feasted,  but  were  held  responsi- 
ble for  the  last  tax  notwithstanding.  The  four 
above-named  Jew  merchants,  in  Swearah  or  Moga- 
dore,  live  in  high  style;  are  absolute  in  the  Jews' 
town,  and  manage  nearly  all  the  English  trade  at 
Mogadore :  at  present,  their  stores  are  allowed  to 
be  kept  in  the  fortress  part  of  the  town,  or  el  Kscb- 
bah,  where  Guidallas  and  Macnin  are  permitted  to 
reside  and  stay  at  night,  by  paying  a  Handsome  sum 
to  government. 

I  had  the  pleasure  to  see  two  brigs  arrive  from 
England,  and  to  receive  a  letter  from  Mr.  Simp^un 
at  Tangier,  and  a  kind  letter  from  Mr.  Sprague  at 
Gibraltar,  which  are  before-mentioned  and  inserted. 
Two  days  after  the  arrival  of  these  vessels  from 
-London,  the  one  commanded  by  captain  Mackay, 
and  the  other  by  captain  Henderson,  I  went  down  to 
the  water  port  to  see  these   gentlemen  when  they 
should  land  in  the  morning :  on  my  arrival  there,  I 
saw   a  great  concourse  of  soldiers,  and  on  inquir- 
ing the  cause,  found  that  an  execution  was  about  to 
take  place,  and  some  malefactors  were  at  the  same 
time  to  be  maimed.     The  governor  arrived  at  this 
moment,  and  the  prisoners  were  driven  in  with  their 
hands  tied:  the  order  for  punishment  was  read  by  the 


Cadi  or  Judge,  and  the  culprits  told  to  prepare  them- 
selves, which  they  did  by  saying,  Hi  el  Mllah  Shed 
a  Mohammed  Rasool  JlUah^  and  worshipping.     They 
were  then  made  to  sit  down  in  a  line  upon  their  legs 
on  the  ground  :  a  butcher  then  came  forward  with  a 
sharp  knife   in   his  hand;   he  seized  the  first  in  the 
line  on   the  left,  by  the  beard,  with  his  left   hand: 
two  men  were  at  the  same  time  holding  the  prison- 
er's hands:  the  butcher  began  rutting  very  leisure- 
ly with  his  knife  round  tiie  neck,  (wJiicli  was  a  very 
thick  one,)  and  kept   cutting  to  the  bones  until  the 
flesh  was  separated  ;  he   then  shoved  the  head  vio- 
lently from  side  to  side,  cutting  in  with  the  point  of 
the  knife  to  divide  the  sinews,  which  he  seemed  to 
search  (nit  among  the  streams  of  blood,  one  by  one: 
he  tit)aliy   got  the  head  off,   and  threw  it  on  a  mat 
that  was  spread  to  receive  the  mutilated  limbs  of  the 
others.      There   weie   ei&'ht   more   who  were  sen- 
tenced  to  lose  a  leg  and  an  arm  each,   and  nine  to 
lose  only  one  arm.     The  butcher  began  to  amputate 
the  legs  at  the  knee  joint,   by  cutting  the  flesh  and 
sinews  round  with   his  knife,  which   he   sharpened 
from  time   to   time  on  a  stone:  he  would  then  part 
the  joint  by  breaking  it  short  over  his   knee,  as  a 
butcher  would   part  the  joint  in  the  leg  of  a,n  ox. 
Having  In  this  manner  got  off  the  leg,  and  thrown 
it  on  the  mat,  he  proceeded  to  take  off  the  arm  at 
the  elbow,  in  the  same  leisurely  and  clumsy  manner; 
he  seemed,  however,  to  improve  by  practice,  so  that 
he  carved  off  the  hands  of  the  last  eiffht  at  their 
wrists,   in  a  very  short   time — this   done,  they  next 
proceeded  to  take  up  the  arteries,  and  apply  a  plas- 


ter,  which  was  soon  accomplished  by  dipping  the 
stumps  into  a  kettle  of  boiling  pitch  that  stood  near, 
or  something  that  had  the  same  appearance  and 
smell.  Is  not  this  last  circumstance  an  improvement 
in  surgery?  They  then  carried  the  lifeless  trunk 
and  mutilated  bodies,  with  the  head  and  other  limbs, 
to  the  market:  the  head  and  limbs  were  carried  on 
a  mat  by  six  men,  who  were  making  as  much  sport 
as  possible,  for  the  spectators:  the  bodies  were 
thrown  across  Jack  asses,  and  they  were  exposed  in 
the  most  public  part  of  the  market  place,  nearly  the 
whole  day.  The  two  governors,  and  other  officers 
who  were  present  during  the  execution  of  the  sen- 
tence, were  sitting  on  the  ground  next  to  a  wall, 
appearing  quite  unconcerned,  and  were  conversing 
gaily  on  other  subjects.  The  Moors,  who  came  from 
mere  curiosity,  did  not  show  the  least  mark  of  dis- 
approbation, or  any  signs  of  horror:  they  jested 
with  the  butcher,  who  seemed  highly  gratified  with 
the  part  he  was  acting. 

I  now  asked  Rais  bel  Cossim,  who  attended  me, 
concerning  the  mode  of  procuring  an  executioner, 
&c.  &c.  He  told  me,  that  when  an  order  came  to 
execute  or  maim  any  culprits,  it  generally  embraced 
several  at  the  same  time,  so  as  to  make  but  one  job 
of  it:  that  the  butchers  were  called  on  by  the 
Alcayd  or  governor,  and  forced  to  find  one  out  of 
their  number  to  do  this  work :  that  they  then  made 
up  a  purse  agreeably  to  a  rule,  made  among  them- 
selves in  such  cases ;  that  is,  two  and  a  half  ducats 
per  man  for  cutting  off"  heads,  and  two  ducats  per 
man  for  maiming ;  (two  and  a  half  ducats  make  one 



dollar,  or  fortj  cents  per  ducat;)  they  then  ques- 
tion each  other  to  know  who  will  accept  of  the 
money,  and  do  the  job :  if  no  one  appears  willing, 
they  cast  lots,  and  the  one  on  whom  it  falls,  is 
obliged  to  undertake  it :  this  man  is  protected  by 
the  governor  for  twenty-four  hours  after  the  execu- 
tion, when  he  is  left  to  take  care  of  himself,  brave 
the  public  odium,  and  the  revenge  of  the  friends 
of  the  sufferer;  or  else  to  fly:  he  generally  goes 
oflf  the  first  night  afterwards  to  some  other  place, 
and  never  returns :  his  wife,  if  he  has  one,  can  be 
divorced  from  him  by  applying  to  the  Cadi  or  Judge, 
and  swearing,  that  as  her  husband  has  served  as  an 
executioner,  she  is  afraid  to  live  with  him,  lest  he 
should  be  tempted  to  commit  some  violence  on  her, 
in  a  similar  way. 

The  butcher  who  acted  on  the  present  occasion, 
was  a  voluntary  executioner  for  forty-eight  ducats, 
and  he  decamped  the  next  night,  leaving,  as  I  was 
informed,  a  wife  and  seven  children  to  shift  for  them- 
selves :  he  was  poor,  and  carried  away  his  wages  of 
death  with  him.  Mr.  Willshire  and  Don  Pablo 
Riva  confirmed  this  statement. 

Taking  a  walk  round  the  walls  of  the  city  one 
day,  to  make  observations  on  it  at  low  water,  in 
company  with  Mr.  Savage,  and  being  escorted  by  a 
Moor,  in  order  to  protect  us  from  insults,  we  came  to 
the  Jews'  burial  place :  it  is  situated  a  little  without 
the  walls,  and  on  the  north  side  of  the  city,  near 
the  ruins  of  a  couple  of  wind-mills,  which  I  was  in- 
formed, used  to  do  all  the  grinding  for  the  city ;  but 
this  work  is  now  performed  in  the  town  by  horse- 


mills.     On  our  approach,  we  observed  a  great  con- 
course of  Jew  women,  and  heard  a  great  outcry: 
curiosity  led  us  to  the  spot  where  they  were  collect- 
ed :  here  was  a  newly  dug  grave,  and  the  dead  body 
of  a  man  lying  on  the  ground  near  it,  enveloped  in  a 
cotton  wrapper,  with  his  face  partly  covered :  some 
men  were  busied  in  clearing  out  and  preparing  the 
grave;  others  had  brought  and  were  bringing  lime, 
mortar,  and  stones,  to  fill  it  up  with;  whilst  upwards 
of  one  hundred  women  were  standing  in  a  circle 
eastward  of  the  grave,  howling  in  an  extraordinary 
manner.     On  a  nearer  approach,  I  observed  about 
a  dozen  women  in  tattered  garments,  who  formed  an 
inner  circle.     As  I  gazed  with  pity  on  this  spectacle, 
these  twelve  women,  who  were  before  quiet,  seem- 
ed to  be  seized  with  a  sudden  paroxysm  of  grief, 
and   they  began   to  approach  each  other  with  their 
hands  uplifted   above   their   heads;    stretching  the 
palms  towards  each  other's  faces,  and  commenced 
howling,  at  first  moderately,  but  which    soon   in- 
creased to  wailings  the   most  violent,   and  yellings 
that  it  is  impossible  to  describe :    they   tore  their 
faces  with  their  long  finger-nails,  and  made  the  most 
hideous   contortions  of  their   features :    the  mania 
was  now  communicated   to  all  the  women  present, 
who  joined  in  the  lamentation,   but  the  others  did 
not  tear  their  faces  like  the  twelve,  who  kept  it  up, 
stamping  with  their  feet,  and  going  round  in  their 
circle ;  their  blood  and  perspiration  mixing  together, 
and  streaming  from  their  faces,  ran  all  over  their 
filthy  garments,  and  dyed  them  red  in  streaks  from 
head  to  foot :  this  paroxysm  lasted  fifteen  or  twenty 


minutes,  when  they  were  so  much  exhausted  as  to  be 
under  the  necessity  of  ceasing  for  a  (ew  moments,  to 
take  breath,  when  they  commenced  again,  and  went 
over  the  same  ceremony,  seemingly  with  redoubled 
vigour.  The  grave  being  at  last  ready,  the  body 
was  put  in  by  the  men,  who  then  built  up  over  it  a 
wall  of  mason  work,  even  with  the.  surface  of  the 
ground.  The  grave  was  dug  in  a  direction  north 
and  south  ;  the  head  was  placed  towards  the  south, 
and  space  enough  left  on  one  side  of  the  body  to 
support  the  weight  of  the  mason-work,  without 
bearing  upon  the  corpse  :  they  next  rolled  a  stone 
on  it,  formed  of  lime  and  small  pebbles  about  two 
feet  square,  and  as  long  as  the  grave ;  this  they 
placed  level  on  a  bed  of  lime  mortar,  and  then  re- 
tired without  speaking,  except  as  much  as  was  ne- 
cessary to  prompt  mutual  assistance :  the  women  all 
this  time  keeping  up  their  bowlings.  After  the  men 
had  retired,  the  women  ceased  their  wailings,  and 
seating  themselves  alongside  the  wind-mill,  were  re- 
freshed by  eating  cakes,  and  drinking  copious 
draughts  of  anniseed,  Jew  brandy,  which  had  been 
previously  prepared  for  the  purpose,  and  they  soon 
became  as  merry  in  reality,  as  they  had  before  ap- 
peared to  be  sad.  While  these  women  were  rega- 
liAg  themselves  in  this  manner,  I  observed  an  old 
woman  washing  the  corpse  of  a  child  of  about  two 
years  old,  in  the  surf:  she  then  wrapped  it  up  in  a 
dirty  piece  of  woollen  cloth,  and  carried  it  to  a  man 
who  had  been  digging  a  hole  for  it  in  the  side  of 
another  grave,  where  he  shoved  it  in ;  put  a  flat 
stone  before  it ;  filled  up  the  hole  with  stone  and 


igme,  and  went  away :  one  woman  only  attended  the 
burial  of  the  child,  besides  her  who  wrapped  it  up ; 
and  this  must  have  been  its  mother,  as  I  judf',ed  from 
her  emotions  :  she  sobbed  aloud,  while  an  abundance 
of  tears  trickled  down' her  wo-worn  cheeks.  I  con- 
cluded she  was  poor  and  a  widow:  not  a  soul  seem- 
ed to  join  her,  or  pay  the  least  attention  to  her 
grief:  after  a  short  pause,  she  kissed  the  stone  that 
covered,  I  presume,  the  remains  of  both  her  husband 
and  child;  wet  it  with  her  tears;  wiped  it  with  a 
clean  white  cloth  she  had  in  her  hand,  and  returned 
weeping,  amid  the  brutal  scoffs  of  the  Moorish  boys, 
as  she  dragged  herself  along  towards  her  cheerless 
abode.  The  women  who  had  assisted  at  the  other 
burial,  had  by  this  time  ended  their  repast,  and  they 
went  round  amongst  the  graves  :  many  kissed  their 
hands,  and  laid  them  on  the  grave-stones  of  their 
deceased  relations,  while  others  kissed  the  rude  re- 
semblance of  a  face  carved  on  the  stone :  others 
plucked  up  the  weeds  and  grass  that  encroached  on 
the  grave,  or  replaced  the  earth  and  small  stones 
which  had  been  dug  out  by  the  rats,  or  broken  off 
by  the  corroding  tooth  of  time. 

On  my  way  home  to  Mr.  Willshire's  house,  I  learned 
that  the  corps  of  the  man  that  was  buried,  was  that 
of  a  Levite,  who  was  poor,  and  had  not  been  able  for 
a  long  time  to  perform  the  duties  of  his  office,  and 
was  buried  by  charity;  I  also  learned  from  Ben 
Nahory,  Mr.  Willshire's  interpreter,  that  a  priest  had 
arrived  from  Jerusalem  to  gather  the  tribute  paid 
yearly  by  all  the  Jews  in  Barbary  towards  the  sup- 
port of  the  few  Jewish  priests  who  are  permitted   to 


reside  in  Jerusalem,  by  paying  a  tribute  to  the  Grand 
Seignior^  or  Sultan  of  the  Turkish  empire,  and  for 
purposes  of  traffic  :  this  is  called  a  voluntary  contri- 
bution for  the  support  of  Jerusalem.  All  the  Jews 
in  these  countries  believe  that  their  nation  is  one 
day  to  sway  the  sceptre  of  universal  dominion,  and 
that  Jerusalem  must  be  kept  as  a  kind  of  possession 
until  the  time  arrives  predicted  by  their  prophets, 
when  the  little  stone  is  to  be  cut  out  without  hands 
from  the  mountain  of  Jerusalem,  and  is  to  fill  the 
whole  earth.  This  and  other  predictions,  constantly 
and  adroitly  handled  by  the  crafty  priests,  together 
with  the  miseries  inflicted  on  the  Jews  in  Barbary  bj 
the  merciless  Moors,  tend  to  nurse  their  natural 
superstitions,  and  render  them  completely  subservient 
to  the  will  of  those  who  are  considered  their  spiritual 
guides,  and  who  rob  them  without  mercy,  under  the 
pretext  of  applying  the  money  to  good  purposes. 

A  schooner  arrived  from  Gibraltar  under  the 
English  flag,  though  a  Genoese  vessel,  as  the  Barbary 
powers  were  at  war  with  Genoa — she  brought  a 
cargo  of  dry  goods,  iron,  steel,  cotton,  &;c.  to  Ben 
Zagury,  aJew;  one  of  his  sons  came  passenger  in  the 
vessel:  his  name  was  Elio  Zagury  ;  he  was  a  young 
Jew,  was  dressed  in  the  European  fashion,  had  been 
educated  in  England,  and  spoke  the  English  language 
fluently.  As  soon  as  he  had  seen  his  father,  he  call- 
ed on  Mr.  Willshire,  and  to  see  me ;  expressed  great 
joy  at  my  deliverance,  and  invited  Mr.  Willshire, 
myself,  and  Mr.  Savage,to  dine  with  him  at  his  father's 
the  next  Saturday :  the  invitation  was  accepted,  be- 
cause I  wanted  to  learn  some  of  the  Jewish  customs, 


and  get  acquainted  with  the"  priest  from  Jerusalem, 
who  was   a   guest  in  his  father's  •  house.     On    our 
arrival  there,  I  was  presented  to  the  priest — he  was 
a  man  of  middling  stature,  dark  complexion,  short 
hair,  and  a  most  venerable,  manly  beard,  that  reached 
down  nearly  to  his  ceinture,  or  girdle :  his  dress  was 
a  brown  striped  mantle,  that  buttoned   close  round 
the  neck,  and  fell  loosely   to  his  {eet,  on  which  he 
had  a  pair  of  black  slippers,  down   at  the   heel,  as  is 
the  custom  of  Moorish  Jews :  his  head  was  covered 
with  a   camblet  coloured  turban,  very  high :  in    his 
hand  he  held  a  string  of  very  large  beads,  which  he 
was  continually  counting  or  telHng  over;  his  mantle 
was  girt  above  his  hips  with  a  brown  silk  girdle  that 
took  several  turns    round  him ;  and  was    about  six 
inches   wide.     I  accosted  him   in  Spanish,  which  he 
spoke  very  fluently — and    made    inquiries    of  him 
respecting   the  present  city   of  Jerusalem   and    its 
inhabitants.     From  his   answers    (as  he  was    very 
intelligent)  I   learned  that  Jerusalem  now  contains 
thirty  thousand  Turks,  and   twenty    thousand  Jews, 
Armenians,  and  Greeks:  that  a  very  brisk  trade  is  car- 
ried on  there,  principally  by  Jews,  between  it,  Persia, 
Constantinople,  and  Jaffa,  which  Jews  are  perraittecl 
to  reside  there  and  trade,  on  paying  a  tribute  to  the 
Grand  Seignior:  that  the  language  mostly  spoken  by 
the  Jews  at  Jerusalem  is  the  Spanish  :  that  there  is 
a  convent  of  Christian  monks  near  it,   containing  » 
number  of  St.  Francisco's  order. 

The  walls  of  Jerusalem  are  strong  and  well  built : 
all  religious  denominations  are  there  tolerated  br 
paying  contributions,  and  protected  by  order  of  the 


Grand  Seignior,  provided  they  pay  the  soldiers  well 
for  their  trouble. .  The  name  of  this  priest  was  Abra- 
ham ben  JVassar :  he  said  he  should  get  about  twenty 
thousand  dollars  from  the  Jews  in  the  Moorish  do- 
minions, and  carry  the  araount  of  contributions  in  gold, 
embarking  again  at  Tangier  foi  Gibraltar,  where  he 
should  deposit  the  money  while  he  went  to  England, 
France,  Holland,  and  Germany,  for  the  same  purpose : 
that  there  were  six  more  associated  with  him  on  the 
collecting  expeditions :  one  of  them  had  gone  to 
Alexandria  and  other  parts  of  Egypt,  to  collect  from 
the  Jews  there,  from  whence  he  would  return  by  way 
of  the  different  islands  in  the  Archipelago:  one  had 
sailed  for  Tripoli,  who  would  take  money  from  the 
Jews  there  and  at  Malta;  thence  to  Italy  and  back: 
one  had  gone  to  Tunis  and  its  various  towns,  and 
would  go  from  thence  to  Sicily  and  Sardinia,  and 
back :  one  had  gone  to  Algiers  and  the  towns  in  that 
regency,  and  would  go  from  thence  to  ancient  Greece, 
including  Venice  and  that  part  of  Germany  bordering 
on  the  Venetian  gulf:  one  had  gone  over  land  to  Rus- 
sia, and  would  meet  him  in  Germany,  after  passing 
through  Poland,  Sweden,  Denmark,  Prussia,  &c.  I 
wished  to  have  an  estimate  of  the  sums  likely  to  be 
collected  in  all  those  places,  and  then  he  began  to 
be  a  little  reserved.  However,  after  considerable 
conversation  and  solicitation,  he  one  day  gave  me 
what  he  stated  to  be  the  amount  of  collections  as  per 
the  last  returns  of  1813,  which  he  had  with  him  in 
Hebrew,  and  I  set  it  down  as  he  interpreted,  after 
he  had  first  brouglit  the  several  sums  into  Spanish 
dollars :  it  made  upin  the  countries  already  mentionetl> 


^ve  hundred  and  eighty  thousand  dollars :  this  was 
exclusive  of  the  expenses  of  collecting  and  travelling 
out,  and  returning  again  to  Jerusalem.  Many  indivi- 
duals of  the  priests  also  came  from  Jerusalem  to 
Barbary,  begging  on  their  own  account.  Out  of  this 
fund  a  yearly  tribute  is  paid  to  the  Grand  Seignior, 
besides  impositions  in  the  form  of  presents  to  the 
Turkish  officers ;  and  the  remainder  serves  to  sup- 
port the  priests,  who  are  very  numerous  in  Jerusalem, 
and  for  commercial  purposes:  thus  the  superstition 
and  credulity  of  the  ignorant  Jews  in  all  Europe 
and  Africa,  as  well  as  in  Asfa,  are  made  subservient 
to  the  purposes  of  the  priests  and  elders  of  that 
singular  people,  who  still  reside,  by  permission,  at 

The  city  of  Jerusalem  lies  from  forty  miles  east  oi 
Jaffy,  a  small  port  on  the  Mediterranean  sea:  from 
thence  to  Jerusalem  the  road  is  good,  and  the  priest 
told  me  he  had  walked  the  distance  in  two  days. 
Jaffy  is  the  port  anciently  called  Joppa:  it  has  a 
small  town  and  fortress,  and  considerable  trade  with 
Jerusalem,  the  islands  in  the  Archipelago,  and  with 
Egypt,  and  some  with  Malta  and  Italy:  here  the 
Jewish  priests  who  are  sent  out  on  begging  expedi- 
tions, embark,  and  return  by  way  of  the  same  place, 
generally  in  Greek  vessels  of  small  burden,  but  very 
well  built  and  manned. 

The  priest  asked  me  many  questions  respecting 
America,  of  which  he  knew  but  very  little,  and 
thought  it  was  a  wilderness  or  a  desart.  After  I 
had  put  him  right  in  regard  to  those  points,  and  in- 
formed him  we  had  many  Jews  in  America,  where 


410  CAPTAIN    ftlLEV's    NARRATIVE. 

they  enjoyed  every  kind  of  privilege  in  eommon  with 
people  of  other  rehgions ;  that  they  could  hold 
landed  estates,  &c.  and  that  many  of  them  were 
very  rich,  he  declared  that  as  soon  as  he  should 
have  finished  his  present  tour,  which  would  still  de- 
tain him  more  than  a  year,  he  would  try  to  obtain 
leave  to  visit  America,  and  collect  the  dues  there. 
I  informed  him  that  our  Jews  were  not  so  supersti- 
tious, nor  in  such  bad  repute,  as  those  in  Africa  or 
Europe,  where  they  were  looked  upon  as  a  set  of 
sharpers  and  villains :  "  that  may  be,  (said  he,)  but 
if  they  are  Jews,  they  must  conform  to  the  laws  of 
Moses,  and  must  contribute  towards  the  support  of 
those  of  their  nation  who  reside  in  the  Holy  Land, 
in  order  to  be  ready  for  the  future  conquest  of  Je- 
rusalem, which  would  be  the  fulfilment  ©f  God's 
promises  to  his  people."  I  asked  him  in  what  man- 
ner they  collected  this  contribution  ?  and  he  told  me, 
that  "  having  letters  from  the  chief  priest  and  elders 
at  Jerusalem,  the  collectors  (who  were  always 
priests)  were  kindly  received  and  well  treated  by 
all  Jews  wherever  they  came— that  soon  after  their 
arrival  in  any  place  where  synagogues  are  establish- 
ed, they  convene  all  the  Jews  together,  and  having 
laid  before  them  the  authority  by  which  they  make 
the  demand,  they  then  proceed,  with  the  assistance 
of  the  priests  and  chief  Jews  of  the  place,  to  class 
them,  and  apportion  the  sum  to  be  raised  amongst 
them  according  to  their  ability :  when  that  is  done, 
the  tax  must  be  paid  without  delay :  It  takes  up  six 
or  eight  months  time  to  make  up  the  sums  and  finish 
the  collections  in  the  empire  of  Morocco." 


The  Jews  In   West  Barbary,  are  as  completely 
under  the  control   of  the  Moors,  as  if  they  were 
slaves,  though  they  fancy  themselves,  in  some  mea- 
sure, free :  even  their  dress  is  regulated  by  a  Moor- 
ish law:  that  of  the  men  consists  of  a  shitt,  without 
a  collar,  and  wide  petticoat  drawers  that  come  tight 
below  the  knees — the  sleeves  of  the  shirt,  which  are 
of  the  full  breadth,  of  coarse  muslin  cloth,  fall  a 
little  belo'w  their  elbows,  and  are  not  plaited  in  any 
way,  but  hang  flowing:  they  wear  above  the  shirt, 
a  jacket  with   short   sleeves   to  their  elbows — the 
jacket  is  generally  made  of  green  woollen  cloth,  with 
•    a  small  collar,  buttoned  tight  round  the  lower  part 
of  the   neck ;  it  is  sometimes  wrought  with  need'e- 
work  from  the  collar  to  the  waist  in   front,    with 
which,  and  small  round  buttons,  made  from  the  same 
materials,  it  is  almost  covered  :  they  hook  this  toge- 
ther with  wire  hooks,   and  again. over  this,  (those 
who  can  afford  it)  have  a  black  cotton  mantle,  which 
comes  over  their  shoulders,  and  falls  down  to  the 
calves  of  their  legs — this  is  so  contrived,  that  one 
end  can  be  thrown  over  the  left  shoulder  in  such  a 
manner  as  to  discover  the  drawers :  they  are  girded 
with  sashes  of  various  colours  over  the  mantle  round 
about  their  loins  :  they  wear  long  beards,  and  black 
woollen  caps  on  the  back  part  of  their  heads,  leav- 
ing the  forehead  uncovered,  which  is  shaved  often, 
and  kept  smooth.     The  four  merchants  that  lived  in 
Mogadore,   wore    coloured-silk    handkerchiefs    on 
their  heads,  covering  their  caps,  and  tied  loosely 
under  their  chins:  they  all  go  bare-legged,  and  wear 
Mack  slippers  on  their  feet,  (as  the  luxury  of  colour- 



ed  slippers  is  forbidden  them.)  In  riding,  they  were 
formerly  restricted  to  the  ass  alone,  but  now  they 
use  mules,  which  they  are  not,  however,  allowed  to 
mount  or  ride  within  the  gates  of  the  city.  When 
Jews  or  Jewesses  are  about  to  pass  a  mosque  or 
place  of  worship,  they  must  take  off  their  slippers, 
and  carry  them  in  their  hands,  going  barefoot  past 
it,  and  that  too,  until  they  enter  another  street. 

The  dress  hei-e  described,  is  that  of  the  wealthy 
who  can  afford  it,  but  the  greater  part  of  the  Jews 
in  West  Baroary  are  poor,  miserable,  and  covered 
with  rags.  A  Jewess  of  the  first  class,  is  clad  with 
a  shirt  made  of  muslin,  that  is  \ery  wide;  the  sleeves, 
not  less  than  a  yard,  hang  loosely  down  to  the  elbow, 
when  the  two  hinder  parts  are  doubled  and  fastened 
together  behind  their  backs  ;  the  bosom  of  this  shirt 
is  wrought  with  fine  needle-work  on  both  sides;  it 
laps  over  before,  and  covers  part  of  the  breasts:  a 
white  waistcoat,  wrought  in  like  manner,  is  super- 
added :  the  lower  extremity  of  this  is  covered  by  a 
wrapper,  in  form  of  short  petticoats,  wrapped  round 
above  the  hips,  and  just  laps  over  in  front;  this  is 
commonly  made  of  green  broad  cloth,  and  falls  down 
below  the  knees :  the  two  lower  corners  in  front,  are 
covered  with  a  fancifully  cut  piece  of  red  broad 
cloth — the  whole  is  fastened  together  by  a  girdle 
round  the  hips,  to  which  are  suspended  behind  a 
number  of  red  woollen  cords  of  different  lengths, 
hanging  down  Avith  a  piece  of  plated  silver,  or  other 
metal,  bent  round  each  at  its  lowest  end ;  these  make 
a  kind  of  tinkling  when  they  walk  by,  striking 
s^gainst  each  pther.     Their  hs^ir  is  long,  coarse,  an4 



black,  and  the  principal  part  turned  up,  and  fasten- 
ed  on  the  top  of  the  head,  while  two  small  braids 
from  behind  each  ear,  are  attached  together  at  their 
extremities,  and  fall  down  to  their  girdles. 

Married  women  of  the  first  class,  cover  their  heads 
with  a  flowing  silk  handkerchief.  Both  married  and 
single  w^omen,  are  extremely  fond  of  ornaments,  and 
are  generally  corpulent :  they  wear  amber  and  pearl 
necklaces,  with  golden  hearts,  set  about  with  fine 
diamonds  and  other  precious  stones:  many  other 
ornaments  are  also  hung  to  their  necklaces,  which 
are  frequently  connected  by  golden  chains :  they 
wear  silver  or  gold  bracelets  around  their  wrists 
and  ankles,  from  one  to  two  inches  wide,  enriched 
with  enamel  and  precious  stones.  I  examined  seve- 
ral of  these  ornaments :  they  are  made  of  the  finest 
gold,  silver,  and  stones,  and  the  best  amber :  the 
weight  of  the  four  bracelets  on  the  wrists  and 
ankles  of  a  young  girl,  (a  broker's  daughter,)  was 
fourteen  ounces,  and  they  cost,  together  with  her 
necklaces,  ear  and  finger-rings,  and  other  ornaments, 
about  two  thousand  dollars.  Those  of  the  Jews 
who  can  get  money,  are  excessively  fond  of  orna- 
menting their  wives  and  daughters,  and  setting  off 
their  charms  to  the  very  best  advantage ;  for  it  is 
their  interest  to  do  so;  bpt  there  are  very  few  of 
them  that  have  the  ability  to  do  it ;  not  more  than 
twenty  Jews  in  Mogadore  can  afford  this  ex- 
pense ;  and  but  few  of  the  rest  can  furnish  their 
wives  and  daughters  with  bracelets  of  even  base 
metal,  washed  over  with  silver  or  gold;  yet  every 
woman  feels  as  if  she  were  naked,  without  some  or 
naments  of  this  description. 


The  Jews  are  forced  to  live  in  a  town  by  them- 
selves, called  el  Millah^  but  the  Moors  enter  it  when- 
ever they  choose,  without  the  smallest  restraint,  and 
go  into  their  houses  without  any  ceremony,  where 
they  take  whatever  liberties  they  please  with  their 
wives  and  daughters,  if  a  Jew  happens  to  be  in 
the  house,  the  Moor  either  drives  him  out,  or  hires 
him  to  absent  himself,  or  keep  the  door,  which  latter 
is  commonly  the  case.  The  Moor  compliments  the 
woman,  and  no  Barbary  Jew  thinks  it  a  disgrace  to 
wear  antlers,  provided  they  are  gilded,  for  if  he 
should  set  about  seeking;  redress,  he  could  never  ob- 
tain  it.  Should  a  Jew  attempt  to  resist  a  Moor  on 
any  occasion,  he  is  sure  of  getting  a  sound  drubbing, 
and  as  his  testimony  cannot  be  taken  against  a 
Moor,  any  more  than  that  of  a  negro  slave  in  the 
West  Indies  and  the  Southern  States  of  America, 
can  be  given  against  a  white  man ;  he  is  forced  to 
pocket  every  affront,  and  content  himself  with  get- 
ting all  the  money  he  can  from  the  paramour;  so 
that  to  a  Jew,  a  handsome  wife  or  daughter  in  Bar- 
bary, while  young,  ensures  to  her  husband  or  father 
a  competence,  and  of  course,  a  consequence  amon^ 
his  brethren. 

The  Jews'  Sunday  begins  on  Friday  evening  at 
sunset,  after  which  time  no  Jew  can  even  light  a 
candle  or  lamp,  or  kindle  a  fire,  or  cook  any  thing 
until  Saturday  night,  at  the  same  hour,  so  that  they 
heat  their  ovens  on  Friday;  put  in  their  provisions 
.before  night,  for  their  next  day's  meals,  and  let  it 
stand  in  the  ovens  until  Saturday  noon,  when  it  is 
taken  out,  and  set  on  the  table,  or  on  the  floor,  bv 


Moors,  whom  they  contrive  to  hire  for  that  purpose. 
Every  Jew  who  can  afford  it,  has  brass  or  silver 
lamps  hanging  up  in  his  house,  which  are  lighted  on 
Friday,  and  not  extinguished  until  Sunday  morning : 
they  burn  either  olive  or  argan  oil.  Their  principal 
and  standing  Sunday  dinner,  is  called  skanah  ;  it  is 
made  of  peas  baked  in  an  oven  for  nearly  twenty*- 
four  hours,  with  a  quantity  of  Beeves'  marrow-bones, 
(having  very  little  meat  on  them,)  broken  to  pieces 
over  them;  it  is  a  very  luscious  and  fattening  dish, 
and  bv  no  means  a  bad  one  :  this,  with  a  (evf  vesre- 
tables,  and  sometimes  a  plum-pudding,  good  bread. 
and'  brandy,  distilled  from  figs  and  anniseed, 
and  bittered  with  wormwood,  makes  up  the  repast 
ef  the  Jews  who  call  themselves  rich.  The  poor 
can  only  afford  skanah  and  barley-bread  on  their 
Sunday,  and  live  the  rest  of  tlie  week  as  they  can. 
They  make  no  scruple  of  offering  for  money  their 
wives  and  daughters,  who  are  voluptuous  in  the  ex- 
treme ;  they  will  furnish  their  customers  with  every 
facility  required,  and  often  even  boast  of  the  quali- 
ty  and  merits  of  their  wives'  paramours.  The  men 
and  boys  attend  their  synagogues,  (on  their  Sundays) 
of  whicii  there  are  twelve  in  Mogadore;  but  these 
are  no  more  than  small  rooms,  where  all  join  in  jab- 
bering over  prayers  in  Hebrew,  as  fast  as  they  can 
speak,  every  one  in  his  own  natural  tone  of  voice, 
making,  altogether,  a  most  barbarous  kind  of  jargon. 
The  Jewish  women  are  considered  by  the  men 
as  having  no  souls,  nor  are  they  allowed  to  enter 
the  synagogues  but  once  a  year,  nor  do  the  women 
partake  of  their  sacraments.     The  sacraments  con- 


sist  of  bread  and  wine,  and  of  circumcision.  While 
in  Mogadore,  I  attended  a  Jewish  circumcision. 
The  child  being  ready,  and  the  friends  present,  the 
priest  took  him  on  his  left  arm,  having  a  pair  of  sil- 
ver tongs  in  his  left  hand,  with  which  he  guaged  and 
prepared  the  parts,  and  performed  the  operation 
with  a  sharp  knife  he  had  in  his  right  hand,  cutting 
off  a  piece  of  the  flesh,  as  well  as  all  the  foreskin: 
this  appeared  to  me  to  be  a  painful  and  cruel  opera- 
tion, and  it  made  the  infant  scream  out  most  piteous- 
Ij.  The  Jews  circumcise  at  the  age  of  eight  days, 
and  the  Moors  and  Arabs  at  the  age  of  eight  years : 
the  Arabs  cut  the  foreskin  and  flesh  off  square,  as 
well  as  the  Jews  :  but  with  the  Arabs,  as  I  have  be- 
fore observed,  it  is  a  preventive  of  disease,  and  not 
a  religious  rite.  For  a  view  of  the  Jewish  costume 
and  manner  of  performing  this  ceremony  in  West 
Barbary,  see  plate  No.  8. 

During  my  journey  towards  Tangier,  when  we 
put  up  at  Saffy,  during  the  Jews'  Sabbath,  having 
two  Jews  in  company,  who  had  friends  or  relations 
in  that  place  that  entertained  them,  and  furnished  a 
supper;  before  eating,  they  brought  forward  a  cup 
in  the  form  of  a  tankard,  and  some  white  bread,  in 
which  some  green  herbs  had  been  chopped  up,  and 
mixed  with  it  before  baking :  they  all  arose  at  once, 
formed  a  circle  round  the  supper  dish,  consisting  of 
boiled  fowls,  which  was  set  on  the  floor,  and  when 
standing,  all  began  to  chant  over  their  prayers  in 
Hebrew,  as  fast  as  they  could  speak :  there  were 
about  twenty  in  all,  relations  and  visitors.  As  I  was 
's;norant  of  the  Hebrew  language,  which  they  spoke. 


and  which  I  am  told,  differs  materially   from  that 
taught  in  the   schools  and  colleges  of  our  country. 
I  could  not  join  with  them.     This  chant,  discordant 
enough  to  be  sure,  took  up  at  least  a  quarter  of  an 
hour.     When  they  were  about  to  finish,  they  passed 
round  the  bread,  of  which  each  one  took  a  piece, 
and  not  to  be  singular,  I  took  one   also,  and  ate  it. 
After   saying  over  a  few  more  words,   they  handed 
round  the  cup  to  all,  and  each  took  a  drink,  keeping 
up  their  chant  all  the  time — when  it  came  round  to 
me,  I  took  it  and  drank  a  little :  it  was  wine,  made 
by  steeping  dry  raisins  in  water,  and  to  me  not  very 
palatable,  being  somewhat  sour   and   bitter.     After 
the  cup  had  gone  round,  all  turned  their  faces  to  the 
east,  bowed  thrice,  bending  their  bodies  more  than 
half  way  to  the   ground,  still  going  on   with  their 
chant.       As  soon  as   they   had   done    worshipping, 
they   resumed  their  places  round  the   dish,   seized 
each  other  by  the  hand,  giving  it  a  convulsive  grasp, 
and  stamping  at  the  same  time  with  their  feet ;  this 
terminated  the  ceremony.     The  chant  being  finish- 
ed,  all  took  their  seats  around  the  dish  as   near  as 
they  could  get,  on  their  legs  and  on  the  floor,  having 
first  washed  their  hands  ;  some  vigorously  seized  the 
boiled  fowls,  which  they  soon  carved,    by  pulling 
them  to  pieces,  and  then  passed  those  pieces  round 
to  the  company.     Their  bread  was  made  of  barley- 
meal;  this  they  dipped  in  the  dish,  after  each  bite, 
and  called  it  a  sop:  the  gra'vy  in  which  they  dipped 
their  bread,  was   the  liquor  in  which  the  fowls  had 
been  boiled,  mixed  with  vinegar.     This  was  on  Fri- 
day evening,  January  the  6th,  1816,  about  9  o'clock 




P.  M.  On  the  next  evening,  they  repeated  the  saiii<t 
ceremonies.  After  supper,  they  amused  themselves 
by  singing  songs  in  Arabic,  and  telHng  stories,  which 
they  kept  up  with  great  glee  until  near  midnight, 
when,  at  my  entreaty,  they  retired  for  the  night,  as 
I  wished  to  get  some  rest- 


A'eiv  orders  arrive  from  the  Emperor — J\Ir.  Willshirt 
is  grossly  insulted  by  Moors — A  description  of  the 
city  and  port  of  Swearah  or  J\Iogadore — its  in- 
habitants, commerce,  manufactures,  &c. 

About  the  last  of  November,  a  courier  came  to 
Mogadore  from  the  emperor  to  the  governor, 
ordering  him  not  to  sufter  a  Moor  to  serve  either  a 
Christian  or  Jew  under  any  pretence  whatever,  or  to- 
live  in  their  houses,  under  the  severest  penalty:  this 
letter  was  no  sooner  read,  than  the  news  flew  to  every 
part  of  the  town.  In  consequence  of  this  order,  Rai&^ 
Bel  Cossim,  Bel  Mooden,  and  a  Moor  of  the  name  of 
Soliman,  who  had  been  constantly  in  and  about  Mr. 
Willshire's  house,  durst  not  return  to  take  their 
leave  :  the  life  of  a  Christian  previous  to  this  was  not 
safe,  even  in  the  city,  without  a  Moor  in  company  to 
ward  oiF  the  insults  of  i^he  boys  and  those  of  the 
Moors  who  were  vicious  or  fanatical.  New  orders 
had  also  been  given  to  the  guards  of  the  water-port?, 
not  to  allow  any  one  to  go  on  board  vessels,, except 


the  captains  and  crews,  without  a  special  order  from 
the  governor. 

Oa  New-year's  day  captains  Mackie  and  Henderson, 
of  whom  I  have  before  spoken,  dined  with  Mr.  Will- 
shire  ;  when  they   went  down  to  go   on   board  their 
vessels,    Mr.   Wiltshire   and  myself  went  to  Jtake  a 
walk  round  the  water-port,   it  being    low    tide :  the    Jv 
guards  ran  after  us,  seized  hold  of  Mr.  Wiilshire,  and 
turning  him  round,  bid  him,  in  an  insulting  tone,  to  go 
back,  uttering  the  most  abusive  language;  and  drawing 
their  scimitars,  they  threatened  to   cut  him   down. 
We  had  no  Moor  with  us  to  witness   this  insult,  but 
Mr.  Willshire's  spirit  could  not  brook  this  indignity, 
and  he  rebuked  these  fellows  in  a  very  resolute  man- 
ner, bidding  defiance  to   them  and  the  Alcayd,    and 
told  them  that  if  they  offered  to  touch  him  again,  he 
wouldrevengeliimself  instantly, and  atanyrate  would 
complain  to  the  emperor,  and   would  cause  them  to 
lose  their  heads  lor  insulting  a  consul  and  a  merchant. 
I  advised   him  to  return  to  the  port,   which  he   did; 
but  the  Moors  were  so  enraged,  that  they  ran   with 
all  speed  to  the  Alcayd,  and  told  him  that  Mr.  Will- 
shire  had  beat  them ;  that  he  called  them  hard  names, 
and  defied  the  power  of  the   Sultan.     Immediately 
soldiers  were  sent   after   him,  who  came  up  with  us 
before  we  got  to  his  house :  they  insisted  on  taking 
him  before  the  Alcayd  forthwith  by  force,  if  he  would 
not  go  without ;  he  told  them,  however,  that  he  must 
and  would  wait  for  his  Jew  interpreter  Nahory,  and 
that  then  he  would  come  :  this  answer  was  carried  to 
the  Alcayd,  and  in  a  few  moments  Ben  Nahory  made 
his  appearance,  and    they  went  before  the  Alcayd 

420  CAPTAft*-    UILEY*S    :<,ARRATIVE. 

together.     The  Alcajd  reprimanded  Mr.  Willshire 
for   having  cursed  the  Sultan,  and  advised  him   to 
settle  the  business,  by  giving  a  present  to  the  guards, 
or  they   would  depose  against  him  before  the  Cudi^ 
which  if  they  should  do,  he  would  be  obliged    to   go 
up  to'^Iorocco  to  the  emperor,  and  he  (the  governor) 
said  he  could  not  be  answerable  for  the  result.     Mr. 
Willshire  defended  himself  so  well  bj  the  help  of  his 
interpreter,  who  was  a  cunning  Jew,  that  his  accusers 
began  to  lower  tiieir  tone  a  little :  he  stated  that  he 
had  the  Sultan's  letter,  which  ordered  the  governors 
and  Alcajds  to  see  his  person  protected  from  insult, 
as  well  as  his  property,  and  that  the  late  order  had 
depri%  ed  him  of  the  aid   and  evidence  of  a  Moor,  to 
which  he  was  entitled  by  that  letter :  he  added,  that 
he  would  write  the  Sultan  an  account  of  the  insult 
immediately,  and  of  the  villany  of  the  port   guards, 
but  would   not  pay   a  blanquille,  (i.  e.  a  farthing)  to 
anyone.     The  Alcayd  said  he  was  ordered  to  protect 
him  and  the  other  Christians  in  the  port,  and  wished 
them  to  be  respected,  but  they  must  respect   them- 
selves, and  by  way  of  an  excuse,   remarked  that  the 
consuls  at  Tangier  did  not  go  down  with  tl>e  captains 
that  have  the  honour  of  dining   with  them,    to  their 
boats  after  dinner ;  that  this  was   derogatory  to  the 
etiquette  due  to  their  office;  but,  at  the  same   time, 
calling  the  guards,  he  told  them  that  Mr.  Willshire 
was  the  Sultan's  consul ;  that  they  must  never  lay  a 
finger  on  him  ;  but  if  he  should  wish  to  go  off  in  one 
of  the  boats  of  the  vessels  in  port,  they  must  permit 
him  to  get  into  the  boat,  but  prevent  it  from  going  off 
until  they  sent  him  information,  in  order  that  he  might 


give  a  permit  for  him  to  go  on  board.  He  further 
told  the  guards  that  they  had  done  very  wrong,  and 
if  tliey  were  not  careful  in  future  he  should  dismiss 
them.  The  guards  were'  very  angry,  and  said  it 
was  intolerable  for  a  Moor  to  be  insulted  with 
impunity  by  a  Christian  dog,  and  that  they  would 
swear  against  him  before  the  Cadi  that  instant;  that 
they  did  not  fear  his  (the  governor's)  power,  and 
they  would  appeal  to  the  Sultan  and  abide  his  decision. 
As  they  were  going  to  the  Cadi,  the  Alcayd  told  them 
if  they  did  contrary  to  his  orders  it  would  cost  them 
their  heads,  and  bid  them  return  to  their  duty  im- 
mediately ;  and  in  order  that  there  might  be  no  further 
complaint  on  their  part,  he  would  make  inquiry,  and 
have  justice  done  to  them  as  well  as  the  consul; 
thus  ended  the  aflfalr,  which  I  at  first  was  apprehen- 
sive would  be  attended  with  more  serious  consequen- 
ces. Mr.  Willshire,  however,  took  care  to  send 
presents  to  the  Addals,  or  four  assistants  of  the 
Alcayd,  who  took  occasion  to  convince  the  Alcayd, 
that  the  guards  were  in  the  wrong — however  we 
durst  not  go  out  walking  or  riding  as  formerly,  but 
w^ere  obliged  to  restrict  ourselves  to  the  city,  and  I 
had  time  to  examine  it  within  and  round  about. 

The  city  of  Mogadore,  called  Swearah  by  the 
Moors  and  Arabs,  or  the  beautiful  picture^  is  situated 
on  the  Atlantic  Ocean,  in  latitude  31.  15,  (thirty-one 
degrees,  fifteen  minutes  north,)  and  longitude  9 — 
(nine  degrees)  west  from  London.  It  is  built  some- 
what in  form  of  an  oblong  square :  its  length  from 
north  to  south  is  about  three  fourths  of  a  mile,  and 
its  greatest  breadth  is  not  more  than  half  a  mile  :'\i 


stands  on  a  peninsula  that  has  been  recovered  from 
the  sea,  which  washes  its  walls  on  the  W.  N.  W.  and 
south  sides  every  tide,  and  is  sometimes  completely 
surrounded  by  water  at  high  spring  tides.  The 
walls  are  built  of  stone  and  lime,  generally  six  feet 
thick  at  their  base,  and  about  twenty  feet  in  height, 
surmounted  with  small  turrets ;  and  have  batteries 
of  cannon  on  them  at  every  angle  :  the  walls  generally 
are  made  of  rough  stone  and  small  sea  pebbles,  mixed 
and  cemented  tegether  by  liquid  lime-mortar,  filling 
up  every  crack  solid ;  they  are  plastered  over  with 
this  kind  of  stucco  within  and  without,  and  are  thick* 
solid,  very  firm  and  hard*  On  the  eastern  angle  as 
you  approach  the  gates,  there  is  a  round  tower  built 
of  hewn  stone,  thirty  feet  high,  mounted  with  about 
forty  pieces  of  brass  and  iron  cannon,  that  command 
the  approaches  of  the  city  on  the  east  side,  assisted  by 
the  four  batteries  on  the  N.  E.  angle,  and  a  heavy 
battery  on  the  water-port.  It  is  divided  into  three 
ports — el  Ksebah,  or  the  strong  and  lion-like  fortress, 
is  the  southernmost,  and  is  surrounded  by  a  double 
wall  on  the  east  and  south  sides ;  a  single  wall,  but 
verythick,next  the  sea,  where  there  is  a  strong  bomb- 
proof battery,  mounting  about  forty  pieces  of  cannon 
of  different  calibers,  and  most  of  them  are  of  brass: 
this  is  its  whole  defence  on  the  seabord.  Vessels  of 
war  might  anchor,  in  smooth  weather,  within  half 
cannon  shot  of  the  town  in  thirty  fathoms  water, 
rocky  bottom.  This  toAVn  is  separated  from  the 
main  town  by  a  strong  wall,  whose  gates  are  regularly 
shut  at  8  o'clock  every  evening,  and  not  opened  until 
broad  daylight  the  next  morning.     The  Christiaft 


merchants  reside  in  the  fortress,  and  the  four  Jew 
merchants  keep  their  goods  in  it.  The  next  is  the 
main  town,  where  the  market  is  held,  and  where  the 
artificers  Hve  :  there  is  a  very  handsome  square  set 
apart  in  that  section  of  the  town  for  a  grain  market, 
surrounded  by  small  shops,  kept  by  Moors  and  Jews  : 
these  shops  are  on  the  ground  lloor,  have  a  door,  but  no 
window  to  them,  and  are  so  very  small  that  the  keeper 
can  sit  at  his  ease  in  the  centre  and  reach  every  article 
in  them.  They,  among  other  things,  manufacture  at 
Mogadore  large  quantities  of  haicks,  which  are  made 
of  woollen  yarn  spun  by  hand  with  a  common  iron 
spindle,  and  wove  in  common  rough  looms  similar  to 
such  as  we  made  use  of,  even  in  America,  not  more 
than  fifty  years  ago — they  throw  the  shuttle  by  hand, 
and  weave  their  pieces  about  five  yards  long  and  six 
feet  wide,  and  they  are  sold  from  the  looms  at  about 
two  dollars  each,  but  are  not  allowed  to  be  exported 
by  sea :  they  also  make  axes  and  many  other  iron 
tools,  such  as  adzes,  scimitars,  knives,  &c.  East  of  the 
main  town,  is  the  town  occupied  by  the  blacks,  in  a 
corner  or  kind  of  a  triangle  made  by  the  outer  wall : 
it  is  said  to  contain  two  thousand  free  blacks :  this 
partis  also  walled  in  by  itself,  and  has  its  gates  shut 
every  night.  The  negroes  that  are  free  enjoy  nearly 
all  the  privileges  of  the  Moors,  being  of  the  same 
religion;  still  they  are  not  allowed  to  live  together 

The  fourth  division,  is  the  Jews'  town,  or  Millah: 
it  is  very  confined,  and  occupies  the  N.  W.  angle  of 
the  city :  the  sea  washes  its  outer  wall  every  tide, 
and  has  nearly  beat  it  through  on  the  west  side ;  it 

424  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

is  divided  from  the  principal  town  by  a  high  strong 
wall.     The  Millah  has  but  one  gate,  which  is  on  its 
eastern  side,  near  the  north  city  gate :  this  is  always 
strongly  guarded,  and  has  a  governor  or  Alcayd  to 
adjust   and   settle   disputes   between   the  Jews,  and 
between   them   and  the  Moors.     The  water-port  is 
two    hundred  yards   south   of  the   city,   within   the 
outer-wall — this  is  a  wall   built  of  hewn-stone,  with 
several  arches,  through  which  the  tide  flows  and  ebbs: 
the  wall  is  about  twenty  feet  thick,  and  has  a  strong 
battery  of  heavy  cannon  well  mounted  on  it,  for  the 
defence  of  the  harbour :  it  is  extremely  well  built ,: 
its   arches  are  well  turned,    and   the   whole   work 
would  bear  a  comparison  with  an  European  fortress. 
The  harbour  spreads  itself  before  the  town  to  the 
south,  and  is  shielded  from  the  sea  by  an  island  about 
two  miles  long,  and  half  a  mile  broad,  only  distant 
from  the  water-port  point  about  five  hundred  yards. 
Between    the    island    and    water- port,    the    vessels 
enter,  keeping   the  island  side  close  on  board,  until 
they  run  down  half  the  length  of  it,  when  they  may 
anchor  in   two  and  a  half  fathoms   at   low   water, 
within  a  cable's  lenijth  of  the  island,  and  with  good 
cables  and  anchors  ride  safe  during  th?ee  quarters 
of  the  year;  but  vessels  drawing  over  fourteen  (eet 
water,  cannot  ride  secure  on  account  of  the  shallow- 
ness of  the  harbour.     In  the  months  of  December, 
January,  and   February,   strong  ^ales  prevail  from 
the  westward,  which  heave  in  such  heavy  swells 
round  the  two  ends  of  this  island,  that  what  seamen 
call  the  send,  or  sWing  of  the  sea,  breaks  the  strong- 
est cables,  and  forces  all  the  vessels  in  this  port  on 


shore..  In  the  winter  of  1815,  an  Enghsh  brig  was 
driven  on  shore  with  a  full  cargo,  and  totally  lost; 
another  parted  her  cables,  and  was  drifting  fast  to- 
wards the  water-port,  when  the  master  and  crew 
deserted  her  in  their  boat,  in  hopes  of  saving  their 
hves ;  but  the  boat  was  upset,  and  all  hands  were 
either  drowned  or  dashed  to  pieces  against  the 
rocks;  the  brig's  cables,  however,  caught  round 
some  craggy  rocks,  which  held  her  through  the  re- 
mainder of  the  gale,  though  within  a  few  feet  of  the 
rocks  astern.  An  American  schooner's  crew  were 
also  lost  in  this  port  a  few  years  ago,  together  with 
her  supercargo,  in  consequence  of  quitting  the  ves- 
sel, and  taking  to  their  boat,  while  the  captain,  who 
was  solicitins:  assistance  from  the  other  vessels  in 


port,  was  saved,  and  the  schooner  was  also  finally 
saved,  though  she  had  been  totally  abandoned:  it 
is  in  the  winter  a  very  dangerous  port,  and  any  ves- 
sel entering  it,  should  have  three  good  cables  and 
anchors,  to- moor  her  head  and  stern  by,  and  should 
strike  her  yards  and  topmasts  immediately. 

The  island  is  called  Mogadore  by  the  Europeans, 
and  \\B.s  thus  named  by  the  Portuguese  or  Spaniards, 
when  they  first  partially  surveyed  this  coast,  and 
thence  the  European  name  of  Mogadore,  is  derived 
for  the  town,  and  not  from  the  sanctuary  or  saint- 
house  near  it,  which  in  Arabic  is  called  Milliah. 
This  island  serves  as  a  State  Prison  for  the  Moorish 
empire :  it  is  fortified  and  strongly  guarded,  com- 
monly containing  not  less  than  one  thousand  State 
prisoners,  who  have  mostly  been  Alcaydes  and  mili- 
tary men,  and  who  are  frequently  pardoned  and  re- 

3  I 


stored  to  their  former  posts  again,  after  a  few  years 
trial  of  their  fortitude  and  patience  there  in  irons. 
Provisions  are  sent  to  the  island  twice  a  week  in 
good  weather.  All  communication  with  the  island 
is  forbidden  to  strangers,  under  pain  of  death.  On 
a  rockj  point,  without  the  water-port,  the  nearest 
to  the  island,  stands  a  circular  battery  to  defend  the 
entrance  of  the  harbour,  and  protect  the  island :  on 
the  east  side  of  the  harbour,  near  the  Sultan's  pa- 
lace, there  is  also  a  circular  battery,  well  built  of 
stone,  calculated  to  mount  twenty  guns,  but  the 
guns  that  had  been  mounted  on  it  were  taken  away, 
under  an  impression  that  they  might  fall  into  the 
hands  of  the  Arabs,  who  attacked  Swearah  during 
the  quarrel  for  the  succession,  which  was  terminated 
in  the  elevation  of  the  present  Sultan,  Muley  Soli* 
man,  to  the  Moorish  throne.  "* 

Swearah  or  Mogadore,  was  built  by  Sidi  Moham- 
med, the  father  of  Muley  Soliman,  who  spared  no 
pains  or  expense  in  making  it  correspond  with  its 
name :  it  is  the  only  tolerable  sea-port  in  the  Moor- 
ish dominions,  except  Tangier,  and  the  only  one  in 
which  foreign  vessels  are  allowed  a  kind  of  free- 
trade,  or  one  without  special  licenses  :  the  houses 
are  built  of  rough  stone  and  lime;  are  from  one  to 
three  stories  high,  and  nearly  all  have  flat  terraced 
roofs:  the  streets  are  narrow,  and  some  of  them 
almost  entirely  covered  with  houses  arched  or  pro- 
jecting over  them,  particularly  in  the  fortress  part; 
the  buildings  at  first,  it  is  said,  were  erected  under 
the  inspection  of  artisans,  who  were  brought  from 
Europe   for   the  purpose:  it  is  by  far  the  neatest 


lown  in   the  empire,   and  is  computed  to   contain 
about  thirty  thousand  Moors  and   blacks,  and   six 
thousand  Jews.     During  the  contest  for  the  succes- 
sion, at  the  death  of  Muley  Eitzid,  who  reigned  a 
short  time  after  the  death  of  Sidi  Mohammed,  Swea- 
rah  was  attacked  by  surprise  in  the  night,  and  about 
three  thousand  of  the  assailants  entered  the  fortress 
part  over  the  walls,  and  actually  got  possession  of 
the  streets;  but  they   were  soon   destroyed  by  the 
garrison  and  town's  people,  from   the  roofs  of  their 
houses:  and  the  army  before  it,  consisting  of  field- 
Moors  and  Arabs,  were  put  to  flight.     It  has  been 
since  visited  and  nearly  depopulated  twice  by  the 
plague,  which  spread  terror  and  devastation  in  all 
the  western  part  of  the  empire.     Mercantile  trade 
was  here  encouraged  by  its  founder,  and  flourished 
to  a  great  extent;  large   quantities  of  wheat  were 
sent   from  hence   to  Spain   and   Portugal ;    sheeps' 
wool  and  the  gums  were  also  shipped  in  great  abun- 
dance; namely,   gum-sandarach,   arable,  &c.   (fee. — 
almonds,  olives,  dates,   dried  figs,  and  large  quanti- 
ties of  olive-oil,  bees-wax,  and  honey — annis,  cum- 
min,  worm,  and  other  medicinal   seeds — pomegra- 
nate peel,  and  many  other  drugs — goat,  calf,  and  a 
few  camels'  skins,  and  camels'  hair — haicks  for  the 
Guinea  trade,  and  many  other  articles.     Their  im- 
ports  were    bar-iron  and    steel,  knives,  and  other 
cutlery,  raw  cotton,  and  many  kinds  of  manufactured 
cotton  goods,  woollen  cloths,  silks,  and  silk  handker- 
chiefs, teas,   sugars,  spices,  gold  and  silver  orna- 
ments, pearls,  amber  beads,  small  Dutch  looking- 
glasses,  German  goods,  platillas,  nankeens,  lumber, 

428  CAPTAIN  ^iiley's  narrative. 

&c.  &c.  There  were  at  one  time  no  less  than  thirty 
Christian  mercantile  houses  established  there :  the 
duties  on  imports  are  ten  per  centum,  taken  in  kind 
when  the  goods  are  landed,  except  on  the  articles  of 
iron,  steel,  and  cotton,  on  which  the  duties  are  paid 
in  cash  at  the  same  rate :  (the  government  allowing 
the  importer  a  short  credit  on  the  duties :)  this  is 
the  duty  the  Sultan  is  entitled  to  by  the  Koran  as 
tithes,  or  tenths,  according  to  their  sacred  code,  for 
he  is  the  religious,  as  well  as  the  temporal  sovereign. 
The  duties  on  exports  are  regulated  by  an  imperial 
order,  and  are  not  steady. 

Trade  has  been  depressed  of  late  years  by  enor- 
mous duties  on  exports,  and  by  prohibitions,  so  much 
so,  that  there  are  now  only  two  respectable  Christian 
establishments  in  Mogadore,  and  those  who  conduct 
them  are  forced  to  put  up  with  every  kind  of  insult 
and  imposition :  they  do  no  business  to  a  profit,  and 
must,  if  it  does  not  soon  alter  for  the  better,  quit  the 
place  altogether.  It  is  the  policy  of  the  present 
emperor,  who  is  absolute,  to  keep  the  people  as 
poo  as  possible,  that  they  may  not  have  it  in  their 
power  to  rebel ;  for  a  rebellious  army  cannot  be  sup- 
ported there  without  money,  or  kept  together  without 
an  immediate  hope  of  plunder,  and  the  Moorish  go- 
vernment has  very  little  to  fear  from  a  partial  and  ill 
organized  insurrection,  the  chiefs  of  which  must  have 
money  as  well  as  bravery,  and  display  good  conduct, 
or  they  will  soon  be  forsaken.  The  Sultan  commen- 
ced his  system  by  shutting  the  ports  of  Santa  Cruz, 
Sail) , Rabat,  Azamore,  Darlbeida,&c.  and  ordering  the 
foreign  merchants  residing  in  them  to  goto  Mogadore 


or  Swearah,  where  he  said  they  should  be  protected. 
Soon  afterwards  they  began  to  prohibit  the  introduc- 
tion of  some  articles,  then  the  exportation  of  many — 
sucli  as  wool,  wheat,  olive  oil,  &c.  and  laid   a   duty 
that    amounted    to   a    prohibition  on    several   other 
articles  of  exportation;  when  the  people  murmured, 
they  were  told  it  was  a  sin  to  trade  with  men  who  did 
not  follow  the  true  and  only  holy  religion  on  f  arth: 
that  their  prophet  had  strictly  forbidden  such  traffic 
as  would  be  liable  to  corrupt  their  morals  and  defile 
them   in   the    sight    of  God:  that  this   sin  had  been- 
committed,  and  that  God  was  now  taking  vengeance 
of  his  people    by  sending  the  locusts  and  the  plague 
that  followed   them,   laying  waste  the  country,  and 
unpeopling  so    many  fine  cities.     These  were  argu- 
ments which  had  great  weight  with  the  superstitious 
Moors,  aided  by  the  plague  which  at  that  time  raged 
with  dreadful  fury  and  swept  off  three  fourths  of  the 
inhabitants  of  i\iogadorc,  Saffy,  and    several   other 
towns;    tha    whole  garrison  of  cl  Ksebhah  on  Ten- 
sift  river,  &;c.  &c.      Several  of  the  Christian  mer- 
chants died  also  of  the  plague,  and  many  of  the  most 
respectable  mercantile  Moors  :  this  caused  an  almost 
total  stagnation  of  business,  which  stagnation  has  been 
increasing,  if  possible,   ever  since,  owing    to    these 
causes  and  other  heavy  commercial  restraints  impo- 
sed by  the  present  emperor. 

Should  any  of  the  maritime  nations  declare  war 
against  the  Moors,  Mogadore  might  be  easily  taken 
and  destroyed,  though  the  place  could  not  be  retained 
any  length  of  time  :  a  {e\s  sloops  of  war  of  a  light 



draft  of  water  might  enter  the  harbour  and  sail  dowii 
near  the  south  end  of  the  island,  where  they  might 
land  troops  atid  take  possession  of  it,  which  being 
high,  commands  the  town ;  here  they  might  construct 
batteries  and  beat  down  its  walls  at  their  leisure. 
The  country  near  it  is  covered  with  nothing  but  drifts 
of  sand  for  a  distance  beyond  cannon  shot.  The 
Moors  are  very  awkward  gunners,  though  as  brave  as 
men  can  be,  believing  that  if  they  venture  even  up  to 
the  very  mouth  of  a  cannon,  they  cannot  die  one 
moment  before  the  time  appointed  by  fate,  nor  in  any 
other  manner  than  that  which  was  predestined  by 
the  Almighty  before  they  were  created,  and  even 
from  the  foundation  of  the  world. 


Of  the  Moors  and  Moorish  Arabs — Feast  of  expiation — 
A  Moorish  review,  and  sham-fighi — Hoi^semanship — 
of  the  Arabian  horse  and  his  furniture. 

The  Moors  are  a  stout  athletic  race  of  men,  and 
generally  of  about  five  feet  ten  inches  in  height. 
They  sprung  from  the  Bereberies,  or  old  inhabitants 
of  north  and  western  parts  of  northern  Africa,  together 
with  the  descendants  of  the  Carthaginians,  and  va- 
rious Greek  and  Roman  colonies  on  those  coasts,  con- 
quered by  and  commixed  with  the  Arabs  or  Saracens 
who  passed  the  Isthmus  of  Suez,  and  subjugated  the 
north  of  Africa  under  the  caliphs  of  the  pretended 


prophet  Mohammed.  Fez  is  at  present  the  great 
capital  of  the  empire  and  chief  residence  of  the  empe- 
ror, who  is  styled  by  the  Moors  and  Arabs  el  Sultan^ 
(the  Sultan)  or  as  they  pronounce  it,  Sooltan-  Suse 
has  become  independent  of  the  Moors.  The  Moors 
are  all  strict  followers  of  the  Mohammedan  doctrine, 
and  firm  predestinarians.  I  call  the  doctrine  Moham- 
medan instead  Mahometan^  because  the  name  of  their 
prophets  is  pronounced,  both  by  the  Moors  and  Arabs, 
Mohammed.,  and  both  of  them  pronounce  their  letters 
very  distinctly,  and  with  their  mouths  open  like  the 
Spaniard,  giving  to  every  letter  its  full  sound;  for 
though  they  write  with  characters,  and  do  not  know 
how  to  form  a  Roman  letter  with  a  pen,  yet  a  person 
understanding  letters,  who  hears  them  speak,  would 
say  they  were  perfectly  familiar  with  the  Roman 
alphabet,  and  laid  more  emphasis  and  stress  on  the 
letters,  by  means  of  which  they  speak  their  language 
better  than  any  other  people  on  earth. 

The  Moors,  in  general,  do  not  learn  to  read  and 
write,  but  their  Talhs  are  learned  men,  who  take  great 
pains  to  become  acquainted  with  the  principles  of 
their  own  and  the  ancient  Arabic  language,  and 
with  the  laws  of  the  Koran,  which  is  held  by  them 
to  be  a  sacred  book,  and  to  contain  nothing  but  di- 
vine revelation.  The  Talbs  transact  all  the  business 
that  requires  writing,  and  serve  alternately  as  scriv- 
eners, lawyers,  and  priests.  Tlie  Moors  use  no 
bells  for  their  places  of  worship,  but  in  the  towns  and* 
cities,  their  religious  houses  have  high  minarets  or 
steeples,  with  flat  tops  and  a  kind  of  balustrade  rcund 
them  •  to  the  tops  of  these  the  Talbs  ascend   to  call 

432  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

the  people  at  stated  times   to  prayers,  and  as   the 
steeples  are  very  high,  and  the  Talbs  are  accustomed 
to  call   aloud,    they  are    heard    at  a  great  distance, 
particularly  when  all  is  still  in  the  city.     Their  times 
of  prayers  are    before    daylight  in  the  morning,   at 
about  mid-day,  about  the  middle  of  the  afternoon,  at 
sunset,  and  again  before  they  retire  to  rest,   about 
8  or  9  o'clock  in  the  evening;.    The  Talhs  who  are  on 
the  steeples  before  daylight  in  the  morning,  commence 
by  calling   all   the  faithful   to   prayers  :  their  voices 
sound   most  harmoniously,   and  thrill    through    the 
air  in  a  singular  manner.     I  was  always  awakened 
by  them  myself  while  I  staid  at  Mogadore,  and  often 
went  to  the  window  to  hear  them ;  their  call  reminded 
me  of  my  duty  also.     After  they   summoned   all  the 
faithful    to    attend    prayers,    they  either  rehearsed 
particular   passages  from  their  Bible   or   Koran,   or 
sang  some   sacred  poetry  with  a  loud    and  piercing, 
but  at  the  same  time  a  very  melodious  and   pleasing 
tone  of  voice.     The  Moors  who  live  near  the  places 
of  worship  go  in,  join  with  the  Talbs  and  pray  togeth- 
er, but  by  far  the  greater  number  perform  their  devo- 
tions in  their  own  rooms.    The  Talbs,  I  am  informed, 
perform    their  religious  duties,   which    are  very  fa- 
tiguitig,  merely  from  motives  of  piety — they  do  not 
receive   the   smallest  remuneration   either  from  the 
prince  or  people  in  any  shape  or  way  whatever.     All 
worshtp  by  turnin.j-  their  faces  to   the  east,  and  bow 
their  heads  in  the   dust  like  the  wandering   Arabs: 
they  wash  their  bodies  all  over   with   water  before 
pra vers,as  well  as  their  hands  and  faces ;  for  which  pur- 
poses, within  the  wails  of  their  mosques  or  churches. 


iliey  have  walls  or  fountains   of  water,  and    large 
stone  basons  in  which  to  bathe.     When  they  appear 
before  God,  (as  they  call  it)  in  their  places  of  worship, 
they  divest  themselves  of  all  superfluous  ornaments 
and    clothing,    and  even   of  their    breeches;    after 
purifying  with  water,  they  wrap  themselves  decently 
up  in  their  liaick  or    blanket   only,  and  go  through 
their  ceremonies   with   signs   of  the  most  profound 
devotion.    If  a  Christian  enters  a  Mohammedan  place 
of  worship,  he   must  either  change  his  religion,  by 
having  his  head  shaved,  undergoing  the  operation  of 
circumcision,  and  confessing  there  is  but  one  God,  and 
that   Mohammed  is  his  holy  prophet,  &c.  or  suffer 
instant  death — but  I  have  ventured  to  look  into  them 
from  the  street.     The  court  leading   to  the  mosque 
was  paved  with  tiles,  and  kept  very  clean,  with  stone 
basons  filled   with  pure  water  on  each   side  for  the 
purposes  of  purification ;  though  I  durst  not  approach 
so  near  as   to  see  in  what  manner  the  interior  part 
was  arranged,  but  I  was  informed  they  wore  entirely 
free  from  ornaments.     The  women  are  not  generallt 
permitted  to  enter  their  houses  of  religious  worship, 
nor  even  to  appear  in  the  streets,   unless  they  are 
completely  covered  by  their  clothing,  which  going 
over  their  heads,  is  held  in  such  a  manner  by  their 
hands  on  the  inside,  as  only  to  permit  them  to  peep 
out  with  one  eye,  to  discover  and  pick  their  way;  so 
that  no  Moor  or  Christian  can  see   their  faces.     In 
the  streets,  they  are  very  seldom  seen,  and  are  so 
extremely  fleshy,  that  they  waddle,  rather  than  walk 
along,  like  fat  and  clumsy  ducks.     No   Moor  will 
marry  a  wife  until  she  is  well  fatted  by  her  father, 

3  K 

434  CAPlTAiN  kiley's  narrative. 

and  if  it  is  not  in  the  husband's  power  afterwards 
to  keep  her  in  the  same  good  case  and  condition,  or 
rather,  to  improve  upon  it,  he  is  dissatisfied,  and 
endeavours  to  get  clear  of  her,  which  he  very  often, 
effects,  for  he  will  not  keep  a  wife  unless  she  is  very 
fleshy,  or  bed  with  what  he  calls  "  a  death  skeleton^ 
The  women  visit  each  other,  and  walk  together  on 
the  tops  of  their  houses,  but  even  the  husband  can- 
not enter  the  room  they  are  in  when  uncovered,  or 
get  a  sight  of  his  neighbour's  wife  or  daughter, 
being  strictly  forbidden  by  his  religion  to  look  on 
any  other  woman  than  his  own  wife  or  wives ; — thus 
the  Moors,  when  they  receive  company,  sit  down 
with  them  on  the  ground  outside  of  their  houses, 
where  they  converse  together;  but  notwithstanding 
all  these  precautions,  as  the  women  are  very  amo- 
rous, they  manage  to  introduce  their  gallants  bj 
means  of  the  female  covering,  and  the  privilege  they 
enjoy  of  visiting  each  other,  and  get  their  lovers  off 
by  the  same  means  undiscovered. 

The  Moors  go  off  in  large  numbers  every  year, 
forming  a  great  caravan,  on  a  pilgrimage  to  Mecca,, 
and  return  in  three  or  four  years  ,•  every  Moslemin 
being  by  law  obliged  to  visit  the  tomb  of  his  prophet 
■once  in  his  life-time,  if  he  can  afford  to  pay  the  ex- 
penses of  his  journey.  The  men  who  have  been  to 
Mecca,  and  returned,  are  dignified  by  the  name  of 
el  ajjk,  (or  the  pilgrim)  and  the  women  who  go  and 
return,  (for  there  are  a  few  who  venture,)  are  allow- 
ed the  privilege  of  wearing  the  haick,  or  man'a 
blanket;  of  walking  the  streets  uncovered,  like  men, 
and  of  conversing  with  them  promiscuously,  as  they 


may  deem  fit,  being  considered  holy  women,  and  as 
possessing  souls  by  special  grace  and  favour.  Every 
Moor,  who  is  born  an  idiot,  or  becomes  delirious,  i& 
considered  a  saint,  and  is  treated  with  the  greatest 
attention  and  respect  by  every  one ;  is  clothed,  and 
fed,  and  taken  the  greatest  care  of  by  the  whole 
community ;  and,  do  what  he  will,  he  cannot  commit 
a  crime  in  the  eye  of  their  law. 

Soon  after  my  arrival  at  Mogadore,  about  the 
15th  of  November,  1815,  the  feast  of  expiation  was 
celebrated  by  the  Moors,  at  which  every  Moham- 
medan is  by  law  obliged  to  kill  a  sheep,  if  it  is  pos- 
sible for  him  to  procure  one ;  if  not,  each  kills  such 
other  animal  as  he  can  obtain :  the  rich  (if  liberal) 
kill  a  number  proportioned  to  their  wealth  and  in- 
clination, and  distribute  them  amongst  their  rela» 
tions,  or  the  poor  who  have  none  to  kill.  Rais  bel 
Cossim  (i.  e.  Captain  bel  Cossim)  killed  seven 
sheep:  tliey  had  been  bought  long  before,  and  wer^ 
well  fatted  for  the  purpose  :  the  first  day  of  the  feast 
was  spent  in  visiting,  and  in  giving  and  receiving 
presents  or  gifts;  and  the  second  in  mihtary  parade. 
On  the  morning  of  that  day,  I  accompanied  Mr. 
Willshire  to  the  top  of  a  house,  formerly  occupied 
by  a  Mr.  Chiappi,  deceased,  who  was  the  Portu- 
guese Consul  at  Mogadore,  for  many  years:  this 
house  was,  before  it  went  to  decay,  the  largest  and 
most  elegant  in  that  city  ;  it  stood  near,  and  over- 
looked the  eastern  wall :  from  that  place,  we  saw 
from  thirteen  to  fifteen  hundred  Arabian  horses,  fleet 
as  the  wind,  and  full  of  fire,  mounted  by  Moors  and 
Arabs,  who  sat  on  strons;  Moorish  saddles  that  came 

436  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 


irp  high  befere  and  behind,  covered  with  rich  quilted 
scarlet  broadcloth.  They  were  paraded  between 
the  outer  and  main  walls  of  the  city — the  horsemen 
were  dressed  with  red  caftans  or  vests,  not  general- 
ly worn  by  them,  except  on  great  occasions  :  these 
were  covered  with  worsted  haicks,  wove  transparent 
like  bunting  for  ships'  flags :  each  rider  was  armed 
•with  a  long  Moorish  musket,  and  had  a  knife  or 
scimitar  hanging  loosely  by  his  side :  they  wore  on 
their  heads,  either  white  turbans  twisted  and  wound 
many  timps  around,  or  a  red  cap,  in  token  of  their 
being  regular  imperial  soldiers,  or  else  a  fold  of  their 
haick  :  their  bridle  bits  were  the  most  powerful  of 
the  Arabian  kind.  The  horses  were  all  studs,  and 
wore  their  whole  natural  quantity  of  main  and  tail 
unmutilated  in  any  part,  and  consequently  retained 
all  their  natural  fire,  beauty,  strength,  and  pride : 
each  hoise  was  furnished  with  a  head-piece,  resem- 
bling the  stall  of  a  bridle  at  top,  and  a  halter 
below — this  stall  or  head-piece,  was  made  of  the 
richest  scarlet  cord  and  velvet,  with  fringe  hanging 
down  oyer,  and  nearly  covering  his  eyes,  and  a 
large  pendulous  pad  of  scarlet  velvet  cloth  under 
each  ear  :  the  neck  of  each  was  adorned  with  a  very 
elegant  scarlet  cord,  having  a  handsome  knob  and 
tassal  underneath:  these  trappings  were  s'olely  for 
ornament,  and  not  for  use,  and  put  on  before  the  bri- 
dle. Each  had,  besides,  a  small  red  cord  about  his 
neck,  to  which  was  fastened  a  number  of  little  bags, 
made  of  fine  red  Morocco  leather — these  bags,  I 
learned  on  inquiry,  were  stuffed  with  scraps  of 
paper,  covered  with  Arabic  writing,  llirnishedto  the 


owner  of  the  horse  by  jugglers ;  and,  as  they  pre- 
tend^ serve  as  a  charm  to  ward  off  the  effects  ol 
"  evil  eyes.i'^  or  witchcraft,  in  which  they  all  believe  : 
the  Moors  and  Arabs  are  so  firmly  attached  to  this 
superstitious  opinion,  that  they  believe  both  them- 
selves and  their  horses  are  in  imminent  danger 
■without  this  favourite  charm. 

The  Moorish  and  Arabian  saddle,  which  I  consi- 
der to  be  the  very  best  that  can  be  invented  by 
man  to  keep  the  rider  steady  in  his  seat,  is  fastened 
on  by  a  strong  girth  under  the  horse's  belly,  and  by 
one  round  his  breast,  but  without  any  crupper:  the 
stirrups  are  made  of  broad  pieces  of  sheet  iron  or 
brass,  and  for  the  most  part  plated  with  silver — the 
bottom  of  them  is  as  long  as  a  man's  foot,  so  that  he 
can  shift  the  position  of  his  feet  in  them  at  plea- 
sure :  they  are  kept  exceedingly  bright,  and  are 
taken  up  short  and  tied  to  the  saddle  by  braided 
leather  thongs ;  so  that  in  order  to  support  liimself 
firmly  in  his  saddle,  the  rider  has  only  to  press  his 
feet  to  the  horse's  sides,  near  his  flanks;  his  knees 
on  the  lower  part  of  the  saddle  ;  thus  resting  at  five 
points  at  one  and  the  same  time.  The  bridle  is  of 
that  kind  which  will  either  stop  the  fiercest  horse 
in  an  instant,  or  snap  off  his  lower  jaw — so  that  the 
rider  has  his  horse  under  the  most  perfect  command 
possible.  This  body  of  horsemen,  thus  mounted 
and  equipped,  were  reviewed  by  the  Bashaw  and 
Alcayd,  or  military  and  civil  governors  :  there  were 
also  five  or  six  thousand  foot  soldiers  assembled  for 
the  same  purpose  :  these  were  dressed  in  haicks  and 
red  caps,   and   armed   with  muskets  and    daggers 


After  the  review,  the  exercises  began  by  a  discharge 
of  seventy-four  pieces  of  cannon,  mounted  on  the 
different  batteries  about  the  city,  and  then  followed 
a  kind  of  sham-fight,  which  was  begun  near  the 
northern  gate,  between  two  bodies  of  infantry;  they 
marched  forward  to  the  attack,  and  each  poured  in 
an  irregular  fire,  which  was  supported  and  kept  up 
in  almost  one  continual  blaze  by  successive  advan- 
cing lines,  until  it  seemed  necessary  to  bring  forward 
the  heavy  cavalry,  in  order  to  arrest  the  progress  of 
a  solid  column  of  men,  that  kept  slowly  and  con- 
stantly advancing  upon  the  opposing  troops.  The 
expected  signal  was  at  length  given :  the  whole  of 
the  cavalry  was  instantly  in  motion :  it  advanced  in 
squadrons  of  about  one  hundred,  in  close  order,  and 
at  full  speed,  and  seemed  to  fly  like  the  wind  :  the 
distance  between  the  opposing  forces,  was  near  half 
a  mile  :  the  horsemen  shouting  loudly,  "  hah-hah  f 
hah-hah  /"  raised  themselves  on  their  stirrups,  took 
a  deliberate  aim  with  their  long  muskets,  when 
within  five  yards  of  the  enemy's  lines,  and  poured 
in  their  fire  while  going  at  their  greatest  speed.  I 
expected  they  would  inevitably  dash  in  amongst  the 
infantry,  and  trample  many  of  them  to  death ;  but 
the  moment  the  men  had  fired,  they  brought  their 
horses  down  upon  their  haunches,  and  stopping  them 
short,  reined  them  instantly  round,  to  make  room 
for  the  next  approaching  squadron,  while  the  horses 
of  the  first  squadron  walked  steadily  and  leisurely 
back,  giving  time  for  the  riders  to  reload  their  mus- 
kets at  their  ease :  thus  furiously  attacked  by  nu- 
merous squadrons,  in  quick  succession,  and  so  close- 


Jy,  the  infantry  was  soon  broken  and  dispersed,  by 
which  means  the  cavalry  remained  apparent  masters 
of  the  field. 

Nothing  of  the  kind  could  exceed  the  ardour, 
activrty,  and  intelligence,  displayed  by  those  noble 
looking  horses  ;  they  seemed  almost  to  flj  to  the  at- 
tack, and  looked  as  if  determined  to  rush  through 
the  opposing  host,  and  trample  it  to  atoms;  but 
when  the  riders  had  fired  their  muskets,  and  the 
horses  were  turned  about  the' other  way,  they  were 
perfectly  calm  in  an  instant,  and  walked  on  leisurely 
until  they  were  again  faced  round  towards  the 
enemy  ;  then  their  eyes  seemed  to  kindle  with  fire; 
they  pawed  up  the  dust,  which  they  seemed  to  snuff 
up  into  their  wide-stretched  nostrils,  and  into  which 
one  might  see,  as  they  then  appeared,  nearly  up  to 
their  eyes :  they  snorted  and  pranced  about  in  such 
a  man.jer,  that  nothing  short  of  the  heavy  and  true 
Arabian  bridle  could  have  been  capable  of  checkinif 
or  keeping  them  in  subjection,  and  nothing  short  of 
the  Moorish  or  Arabian  saddle,  could  have  prevent- 
ed their  riders  from  being  dashed  against  the  ground. 
The  long  spurs  of  the  horsemen  had  gored  their 
lianks,  so  as  to  make  the  blood  stream  out,  Avhich. 
uniting  with  their  sweat,  formed  a  kind  of  streaked 
froth,  that  nearly  covering  their  sides,  dropped 
fast  upon  the  ground,  whilst  the  severe  working  of 
the  bit  upon  their  mouths,  caused  them  to  bleed  pro- 
fusely. The  dazzling  of  their  stirrups  and  arms  in 
the  sun,  the  rattling  of  their  spurs  against  their  stir- 
rups, and  the  clashing  of  their  arms  against  each 
other;  the  beantifnl   appearances  o[  the  squadron? 


of  horses;  the  cracking  of  musketry,  and  continual 
shoutings  of  the  mock  combatants,  produced  an  ef- 
fect truly  imposing,  and  I  was  of  opinion  that  no 
lines  of  infantry,  of  equal  numbers,  however  well 
formed  and  commanded,  would  be  capable  of"  with- 
standing their  impetuous  and  repeated  shocks,  when 
actually  attacked :  this  was  truly  a  superb  school 
for  horsemanship. 

Sidi  Hamet,  my  old  master,  had  borrowed  and 
mounted  Mr.  Willshire's  fine  horse,  and  seemed  to 
be  in  all  his  glory  Avhile  exercising  him  like  the 
others.  After  they-  had  nearly  finished  the  sham 
fight,  he,  together  with  a  line  of  Moors,  consisting 
of  about  fifteen  or  twenty,  commenced  their  last 
career  towards  the  enemy :  they  had  a  cjuarter  of  a 
mile  to  ride,  and  all  with  long  muskets  in  their 
hands :  they  set  off  their  horses  at  full  speed,  in  a 
line,  when  on  their  seats ;  then  turning  over,  they 
placed  their  heads  upon  their  saddles,  and  rode  with 
iheir  feet  in  the  air,  and  their  backs  towards  the 
horses'  heads  for  a  considerable  part  of  the  distance; 
then  regaining  their  seats  by  a  sudden  movement, 
they  rose  in  their  stirrups,  fired  off  their  pieces  close 
to  the  wall,  reined  their  horses  around,  and  returned 
again  to  their  post.  Many  of  these  horses  were  ex- 
tremely fleet  and  beautiful,  and  seemed  as  much  to 
exceed  in  spirit,  strength,  and  courage,  the  first-rate 
race  horses  I  had  ever  seen  in  Europe  or  America, 
as  those  fine  animals  excel  the  common  old  plough 

The  Moors  soon  wear  their  horses  down  by  hard 
service,  and  then  put  them  into  mills  to  grind  their 


grain,  as  there  is  scarcely  such  a  thing  as  a  wipd  or 
water-mill  wherewith  to  grind  their  breadstuff,  to 
be  found  in  the  Moorish  empire.  The  mares  are 
never  rode  or  worked,  and  are  kept  solely  for  the 
purpose  of  breeding,  and  I  found  that  what  I  had 
considered  as  an  exaggerated  account  of  the  good 
qualities  attributed  to  the  Arabian  horse,  fell  far 
short  of  his  real  merits ;  for,  though  the  most 
proud,  fierce,  and  fiery  of  the  horse  kind,  he  is,  at 
the  same  time,  the  most  docile  of  those  noble  ani- 
mals. The  true  Arabian  horse  is  about  fourteen 
hands  in  height;  his  body  is  long,  round,  and  slen- 
der;  his  limbs  small,  clean,  and  straight;  he  is  square- 
breasted  and  round-quartered;  his  neck  well  set  and 
slim,  with  a  beautiful  natural  curve;  his  head  small, 
"with  a  face  inclining  to  a  curve,  from  the  top  of  the 
head  to  the  nostrils,  with  eyes  full,  bright,  quick, 
and  intelligent — many  of  them  are  of  a  beautiful 
cream  colour,  and  frequently  spotted  with  black, 
and  varv  in  colour  from  a  light  sorrel,  throuo-h  all 
the  shades  of  bay  and  chesnut,  to  the  deepest  jet 
black;  they  are  strong  jointed,  and  full  of  sinew: 
they  are  naturally  docile,  and  very  active;  but  if 
they  become  in  the  least  vicious,  they  are  doomed  to 
the  mill  for  the  remainder  of  their  days.  It  was 
with  much  regret  I  learned  that  these  beautiful  and 
serviceable  animals  could  not  be  exported  from 
either  the  Moorish  dominions,  or  any  other  of  the 
Barbary  States,  without  a  special  permission,  as  a 
private  favour,  from  the  reigning  prince,  which  is 
very  seldom  granted,  and  only  on  particular  and  im- 
portant occasions. 


342  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

The  Arabs  inhabiting  Morocco,  live  in  tents,  in 
a  wandering  state ;  for  the  true  Arabs  will  not  be 
confined  within  walls,  and  are  a  distinct  race  of  men 
from  the  Moors.     They  keep  large  herds  of  cattle, 
horses,  camels,  sheep,  goats,  and   asses,  making  use 
of  the  milk   of  all   the  females   for  butter  and   for 
drink :   they   supply   the   cities   with  butter,    which 
they  make  by  the  simple  process  of  putting  the  milk 
into  a  goat-skin,  the  hair  side   in,  hanging  it  up  by 
the  legs,  and  shaking  it  by  the  help   of  a  rope,  by 
which  it  is  fastened;  when  the  butter  is  made,  they 
pack  it,  hair  and  all,  into  earthen  jars  that  hold  from 
two  to  four  pounds  each,  and  in  that  state,  carry  it 
to  market  without  salting,  selling  the  butter,  jar,  and 
all,  for  a  mere  trifle  :  they  cultivate  nearly  all  the 
plain  land  that  is  cultivated  in  the  empire  of  Mo- 
rocco, (as  the  Bereberies  till  the  hilly  country  and 
sides  of  the  mountains,)  except  the  grounds  in  the 
immediate  vicinity  of  the  cities,  which  they  do  not 
approach   for  the    purposes    of    agriculture,    those 
being  cultivated  and  dressed  by  the  Moors  and  their 
slaves.     They  live  in  families  or  sections  of  tribes, 
and  pitch  their  tents  in  companies  of  from  twenty  to 
one  hundred  and  fifty  tents,  each  tent  containing  one 
family:   these    tents,    when    pitched,    are    called    a 
Douhar ;  they  elect   a  chief  to  each  of  these   dou- 
hars,  whom  they  dignify  with  the  title  of  Alcayd  or 
Sheick,  for  the  time  being:  their  authority,  however, 
is    rather    of    an    advisory    than    mandatory   kind. 
Near  seed  time,  they  remove  and  pitch  their  douhar 
(or  encampment)  near  the  spot  they  mean  to  culti- 
vate, and   plough   and  sow  the  land   mih  wheat. 


barley,  corn,  or  peas :  they  fence  in  some  parcels  of 
land  with  good  high  stone  fences,  particularly  or- 
chards of  fig-trees,  but  for  the  most  part  they  are 
entirely  open ;  the  sowing  being  finished,  they  re- 
move again,  for  the  sake  of  pasture,  to  other  parts 
of  the  same  province,  in  which  they  continue  to  re- 
side, as  they  cannot  move  out  of  a  province  without 
leave  being  first  obtained  from  the  emperor — thus 
they  wander  from  place  to  place,  until  near  harvest 
time ;  when  they  return  and  gather  in  their  crops 
which  they  have  sowed,  and  which  are  considered 
safe  from  the  flocks,  herds,  and  hands  of  other  tribes, 
by  common  consent  or  interest,  as  all  rove  about  in 
a  similar  way,  having  no  fixed  habitations;  yet 
sometimes  one  tribe  sows,  and  another  reaps  the 
fruit  of  its  labour,  but  that  is  only  done  by  force  of 

The  Moorish  Arabs  are  rather  below  the  middle 
stature ;  of  a  dark  complexion,  resembling  that  be- 
tween the  mulatto  and  a  white  man,  with  long-  black 
hair  and  black  eyes  ;  they  are  strong  and  healthy : 
they  wear  round  their  bodies  a  woollen  haick,  which 
does  not  cover  their  heads,  and  go  without  any  other 
clothing ;  their  legs  and  feet  are  generally  bare ; 
their  beards  lonsf;  their  cheek-bones  hisfh;  their 
noses  regularly  hooked  ;  their  lips  thin  ;  and  they 
are  as  hardy  a  race  of  men  as  exists ;  perhaps,  in- 
deed, with  the  exception  of  the  wandering  Arabs. 
The  women  wear  a  kind  of  a  garment  made  of  a 
haick,  through  which  they  thrust  their  arms  to  keep 
it  up — it  hangs  down  to  their  knees,  and  nearly 
covers  their  breasts ;  they  have  a  fold  behind,  like 

444  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative, 

those  living  on  the  desart,  in  which  they  carry  their 
young  children ;  they  all  stoop  forward  very  much ; 
are  treated  by  their  husbands  as  mere  necessary 
slaves;  are  obliged  to  milk  the  cows,  camels,  mares, 
goats,  sheep,  and  asses;  make  the  butter,  and  spin 
and  weave  the  tent-cloth  and  clothing  by  hand  for 
themselves  and  families.  They  both  spin  and  weave 
in  the  same  manner  as  the  Arab  women  of  the  de- 
sart, and  bring  all  the  water  they  use,  in  large  pitch- 
ers on  their  shoulders,  let  the  distance  be  ever  so 
great :  they  take  care  of,  and  help  to  draw  the 
water  for  the  flocks  of  sheep,  and  goats,  and  herds 
of  cattle;  but  the  men  manage  the  camels  and 
horses.  They  grind  their  wheat  and  barley  in  their 
hand-mills,  which  are  the  same  as  on  the  desart  and 
in  Suse,  as  already  described,  and  they  make  cakes, 
which  they  roast  in  the  fire.  The  women  are,  in 
fact,  complete  slaves:  they  are  obliged  to  strike 
their  tents  when  they  remove,  and  pack  them  on 
camels,  with  all  the  other  stuff  that  is  possessed  by 
the  family ;  to  pitch  the  tent  again,  and  pack  away 
the  stuff,  &c.  &c.  while  the  men  take  upon  them- 
selves to  lord  it  over  them,  and  drive  them  about  at 
pleasure,  only  looking  after  the  flocks  and  herds, 
and  punishing  the  women  and  girls,  if  any  are  lost : 
the  men  also  plough  and  sow  the  land,  and  attend  to 
the  reaping  and  threshing  out  the  corn.  The  sickle 
they  reap  with,  is  nothing  more  than  a  knife  with  a 
blade  of  about  a  foot  long,  with  the  point  bent  in^^ 
wards :  the  principal  part  of  the  labour  in  this  busi- 
ness, they  also  oblige  the  women  to  perform. 

Their  law  permits  them  to  have  seven  wives,  but 
it  is  recommended  to  them  by  their  prophet  to  have 


only  one,  in  order  to  prevent  contention  in  the 
family.  When  they  increase,  however,  in  wealth 
or  substance,  they  need  more  help,  and  instead  of 
hiring  or  buying  slaves,  they  take  more  wives;  and 
on  this  economical  and  agreeable  plan,  they  make 
out  to  manage  the  affairs  of  their  household.  They 
are  the  same  race  of  people  in  appearance  and  man- 
ners, as  the  Arabs  of  the  desart,  and  have  bartered 
their  liberty  for  the  comforts  afforded  by  a  country 
susceptible  of  cultivation.  The  Arabs  are  said  to 
have  continued  migrating  gradually  from  the  de- 
sarts  and  other  parts  of  Arabia  into  Africa,  ever 
since  the  irruptions  of  the  first  Saracens,  by  joining 
themselves  in  small  numbers  to  the  returning  cara- 
vans which  go  yearly  from  Morocco,  Algiers,  Tunis, 
Tripoli,  &c.  on  a  pilgrimage  to  visit  the  tomb  of 
their  prophet  at  Mecca.  These  caravans  carry 
large  quantities  of  goods  with  them,  and  make  a 
trading  trip  of  it,  as  well  as  a  religious  duty ;  and 
many  of  the  pilgrims  return  home  very  rich  for 


The  present  Arabs  and  ancient  Jews  compared. 

Soon  after  1  was  seized  on  as  a  slave  by  the  wan- 
dering Arabs  of  the  great  Western  Desart,  I  wai 
•truck  with  the  simplicity  of  their  lives  and  manners, 


and  contrasted  the  circumstances  of  their  keeping 
camels,  hving  in  tents,  and  wandering  about  from 
day  to  day,  with  the  simpHcity  of  the  lives  of  the 
old  Jewish  patriarchs,  who  also  lived  in  tents,  had 
camels,  and  wandered  about  from  place  to  place; 
possessed  men-servants  and  maid-servants — that  is, 
they  owned  slaves;  but  as  they  for  the  most  part 
lived  in  countries  where  the  soil  was  capable  of  cul- 
ture, they  also  had  flocks  of  sheep  and  goats,  and 
herds  of  cattle,  and  asses ;  yet  the  patriarchs  lived 
in  a  thirsty  land  for  a  part  of  the  time,  and  were 
often  in  want  of  water,  as  well  as  of  bread.  My 
mind  was  also  strongly  impressed  with  the  similarity 
between  the  patriarchal  form  of  government,  and 
that  prevailing  among  the  Arabs  at  the  present  day, 
which  is,  in  the  strictest  sense  of  the  word,  paternal ; 
the  father  of  each  family  being  its  supreme  and  ab- 
solute head :  the  wandering  Arabs  will  submit  to  no 
other  control,  and  they  actually  reverence  their 
fathers  and  the  old  men  of  their  tribe  next  to  the 
Deity  himself,  and  pay,  without  the  least  apparent 
compulsion,  the  most  cheerful  and  implicit  obedience 
to  their  orders  and  wishes.  When  I  became  more 
acquainted  with  the  Arabs,  I  observed  that  the  man- 
ner of  salutation  between  strangers  was  very  much 
like  that  of  the  Jewish  fathers,  as  recorded  in  Holy 
Writ,  and  which  also  prevailed  among  the  inhabit- 
ants of  the  country  where  they  sojourned.  W^hen  a 
stranger  approached  an  Arab's  tent,  he  first  finds 
out  which  way  it  is  pitched;  then,  going  round  until 
he  gets  directly  in  front,  he  draws  near  slowly,  until 
within  about  one  hundred  yards,   and   stops,  but  al- 


ways  with  his  weapon  in  his  hand,  ready  for  defence, 
and  then  turns  his  back  towards  the  tent :  when  he 
is  perceived  by  those  in  and  about  the   tent,  (who 
are  always  upon  the  look  out,)  and  they  come  forth, 
he  bows  himself  nearly  to  the  earth  twice,  and  wor- 
ships :  upon  which   one  from   the   tent  takes  some 
water  in  a  bowl,  and  advances  towards  him ;  this  is 
done  by  the  head  of  the  family,  if  he  be  at  home,  or 
by  his  eldest  son  :  if  none  of  the  males  are  present, 
one  of  the  women   goes  forward  with  her  bowl  of 
water,  or  something  else,  either  to  eat  or  drink,  if 
they  have  any ;  if  not,  they  take   a  skin,  or  roll  of 
tent-cloth,  to  make   a  shelter  with  for  the  strano;er. 
iVs  they  come  within  a  few  yards  of  the  stranger, 
they   ask — "  is   it  peace  ?"  and   being  answered  in 
the  affirmative,  they  mutually  say — "  peace  be  with 
you,  with  your  father's  house,  your  family,  and  all 
you  possess ;" — then  touching  the  fingers  of  the  right 
hands  together,  they  snap  them,  and  carrying  them 
to  their  lips,  kiss  them,  which  is  the  same  with  them 
as  to  kiss  each  other's  hand ;  and  thence,  I  presume, 
is  derived  tlie  compliment  now  in  such  general  use 
among  the   polite    Spaniards,  which    is    to   say,  in 
saluting  a  gentleman,  "  beso  de  usted  las  manos" — I 
kiss  your  hands;  if  a  lady,  "  I  kiss  your  feet." 

The  Arab  manner  of  worshipping  the  Deity,  as  I 
have  already  described,  is  by  bowing  themselves  to 
the  earth,  and  touching  their  faces  to  the  ground : 
after  bowing  to  the  ground  six  times,  they  say, 
"  God  is  great  and  good,  and  Mohammed  is  his  holy,^ 
prophet:"  this  is  their  confession  of  faith.  After 
that,   they  offer  up  their  petitions,  that  God  will 

448  CAPTAIN  riley's  narratite. 

keep  them   under  his    special  protection;   that  he 
will  direct  them  in  the  right  way;  that  he  will  lead 
them  to  fountains  or  wells  of  living  water;  that  God 
will  scatter  their  enemies,  and  deliver  them  from  all 
those  who  lie  in  vrait  to  do  them  mischief — that  he 
will  prosper  their  journeys,   and  enrich  them  with 
the  spoil  of  their  enemies,  &c.  and  thej  afterwards 
recite  some  poetry,  which  they  call  sacred.     Since 
my  being  redeemed,  I  have  been  told  that  the  form 
of  worship  now  in  practice  among  those  people,  was 
taught  them  by  Mohammed;  but  as  these  forms  do 
not  differ  materially  from  the  forms  of  worship  prac- 
tised by  Abraham  and  the  other  old  patriarchs,  and 
those  of  the  people  among  whom  they  dwelt  in  the 
land  of  Canaan  and  elsewhere,  I  am  inclined  to  be- 
lieve that  the  artful  prophet  did  not  change   their 
ancient  mode  of  worshipping  the  Deity,  but  on  the 
contrary,  sanctioned  their  long  established  custom, 
which  had  continued  among  that  singular  race  of 
men  ever  since  the  time  of  Abraham;  and  that  the 
only  innovations  or  alterations  he  ventured  to  make 
in  that  respect,  were  in  appointing  set  times  for  per- 
forming  those    religious    duties ;  enjoit-ing  besides, 
frequent  purifications,  by  washing  themselves  with 
water,  and  thus  inculcating  cleanliness,  so  indispensi- 
bly  necessary  to  preserve  health  in  hot  countries,  as 
a  rehgious  duty. 

When  travelling  along  the  great  Desart,  near  its 
aortherri  border,  we  fell  in  with  flocks  of  sheep  and 
goats,  which  were  kept  by  the  women  and  children, 
who  were  also  obliged  to  water  them ;  and  when, 
after  our  arrival  in  Suse,  while  we  were  travelling 


on  its  immense  plain,  and  many  small  cities  or  towns 
were  in  sight  at  the  same  time  on  every  side,  with 
high  stone  walls,  gates,  and  bars,  and  I  learned  that 
each  one  was  independent,  and  under  the  command 
or  government  of  its  own  chief,  who  generally  styled 
himself  a  prince;  and  when  I  heard  the  story  of 
the  destruction  of  Widnah,  and  other  devastations 
committed  by  the  wandering  Arabs  in  their  vicinity, 
I  could  not  avoid  figuring  to  myself,  and  observing  to 
my  companions  at  the  time,  that  the  country  of 
Suse  mu8t  now  resemble  in  appearance  the  land  of 
Canaan  in  the  time  of  Joshua,  both  in  regard  to  its 
numerous  little  walled  cities ;  its  fertile  soil ;  and  in 
many  other  respects;  and  that  the  frequent  irrup- 
tions of  the  hordes  of  wild  Arabs  from  the  desart, 
destroying  and  laying  waste  the  country,  and  the 
cities  they  are  able  to  overpower,  bore  a  strong  re- 
semblance to  the  conduct  of  the  ancient  Israelites, 
when  led  from  the  desarts  of  Arabia  into  the  culti- 
vated country  near  them ;  with  this  ditference,  how- 
ever, that  the  Israelites  were  then  particularly 
guided,  supported,  and  protected  by  Divine  power, 
and  consequently  were  enabled  to  act  in  unison,  and 
with  decisive  effect  against  those  small,  feeble,  and 
ill-constructed  cities. 

In  travelling  from  Mogadore  to  Tangier,  in  the 
empire  of  Morocco,  and  coming  to  those  parts  of  the 
provinces  of  Abdah  and  Duquella,  which  are  entire- 
ly peopled  by  Arabs  living  in  tents,  and  in  a  primi- 
tive or  wandering  state,  (their  tents  being  formed  of 
the  same  materials,  and  pitched  in  the  same  manner 
as  those  of  the  Arabs  on  the  desart,)  I  observed 

3  M 


that  these  people  were  of  a  much  lighter  complexict* 
than  those  on  the  desart ;   but  that  circumstance,  in 
all   probability,  was  owing  to  the  climate's  being 
more  temperate ;  to  their  being  less  exposed  to  the 
rajs  of  the  sun,   and  better  clothed ;  yet  their  fea- 
tures were  nearly  the  same,  and  those  of  both  bear 
a  strong  resemblance  to  those  of  the  Barbary  Jews, 
who  also  have  black  eyes  and  Arab  noses,  lips,  hair, 
and  stature,  and  whose  complexion  is  but  a  shade  or 
two  lighter  than  that  of  the  Moorish  Arabs,  which 
is  chiefly  occasioned  by  their  different  modes  of  life, 
the  Jews  all  living  in  cities,   and  the  Arabs  in  the 
fields :  the  Jews,  however,  are  stouter  men  than  the 
Arabs,  owing,  most  likely,  to  the  unrestrained  inter- 
course between  the  lusty  Moors  and  the  Jewesses, 
&c.     That  these  Arabs  and  those  who  live  on  the 
desart,   are  the  same  race  of  men,  1  have  not  the 
smallest  doubt :   their  height,  shape,  eyes,  noses,  and 
other  features,  together  with  their  customs,  man- 
ners,  and  habits,  being  essentially  the  same.     Be- 
tween the   Barbary  Jews  and  the  present    Arab^, 
there  is  only   a  slight  difTerence  in    their  religious 
ceremonies  and  belief,  and  both  very  much  resemble 
those  forms  which  were  followed  by  the  old  Jewish 
patriarchs,   and  their  fathers   and  brethren,  as  re- 
corded in  the  Book  of  Genesis.     There  is  one  more 
singular  coincidence  between  the  customs  of  the  old 
Israelites   and  present  Arabs,  which,  though  seem- 
ingly  unimportant,   I    shall,    nevertheless,  mention. 
The  Arabs,   both  on  the  desart  and  in   Morocco, 
when  they  have   occasion  to  go  abroad  from  their 
tent,  in  order  to  obey  one  of  the  most  pressing  calls 


of  nature,  always  carry  a  stick  or  paddle  with  them, 
in  the  manner  and  for  the  same  purpose  as  is  men- 
tioned of  the  ancient  Israelites  in  the  twenty-third 
chapter  of  Deuteronomy,  the  twelfth  and  thirteenth 
Terses.  The  men  always  sit  close  to  the  ground  to 
urinate,  and  compelled  us,  while  slaves,  to  do  the 

In  journeying  through  the  province  of  Duquella, 
I  learned  from  occular  demonstration  what  was 
meant  when  certain  personages  are  described  in 
Holy  Writ,  as  having  an  abundance  of  flocks  and 
herds,  &;c.  We  stopped,  and  pitched  our  tent  one 
night  within  a  Douhar,  which  I  found  in  the  morn- 
ing to  consist  of  one  hundred  and  fifty-four  tents  : 
they  were  pitched  in  form  of  a  hollow  square,  and 
about  fifty  yards  apart,  occupying  a  large  space  of 
ground,  and  all  of  them  facing  inwards ;  before  each 
of  these  tents,  the  owner  had  made  his  beasts  lie 
down  for  the  night.  I  felt  a  desire  to  know  the 
number  of  animals  each  man  possessed,  and  in  order 
to  make  an  estimate  of  the  whole  with  correctness, 
I  stopped,  counted,  and  set  down  the  whole  number 
that  lay  in  separate  flocks  before  thirty  of  the  tents 
nearest  to  where  I  was,  and  then  made  an  average 
of  their  numbers  for  each  tent,  which  were  nine- 
teen camels,  eleven  head  of  neat  cattle,  six  asses, 
fifty-five  sheep,  and  fifty-two  goats :  the  whole  of 
the  horses  within  the  douhar,  I  counted  separately: 
they  amounted  to  one  hundred  and  eighty-six.  I 
think  the  flocks  I  counted  were  a  fair  average  of  the 
whole,  and  I  compute  them  accordingly;  that  is, 
two  thousand  nine  hundred  and  twentv-six  camels; 


one  hundred  and  eighty-six  horses ;  eight  thousand 
seven  hundred  and  seventy  sheep;  eight  thousand 
and  eight  goats;  and  nine  hundred  and  twenty 
asses  : — they  had  besides  a  considerable  number  of 
dun^-hiil  fowls,  and  a  great  plenty  of  dogs.  I  also 
counted  the  number  of  inhabitants  occupying  fifty 
tents,  which  averaged,  including  slaves  and  children, 
nine  to  a  tent,  or  one  thousand  three  hundred  and 
eighty-six  in  all.  These  Arabs  lead  a  pastoral  life, 
and  though  the  amount  of  their  flocks,  at  first  sight, 
appears  great,  yet  when  it  is  taken  into  view  that 
their  only  employment  is  to  feed  cattle,  in  which 
consists  their  whole  riches  or  wealth,  and  their  daily 
support,  the  number  will  not  be  considered  as  unrea- 
sonably great.  This  douhar  was  said  to  belong  to 
the  Sheick  Mohammed  ben  Abdela^  a  very  old  man, 
(whom  I  saw,)  and  to  consist  of  his  family  only — if 
so,  this  Arab  must  have  been  very  rich  and  power- 
ful, even  hke  Abraham  the  patriarch,  who  had 
three  hundred  and  eighteen  servants  born  in  his 
own  house,  able  to  go  forth  to  war,  (Genesis  xiv. 
14,)  or  like  pious  Job,  who  was  pre-eminently  bless- 
ed with  flocks  and  herds,  and  was  also,  most  proba- 
bly, an  Arab. 



The  author  ships  his  companions  on  hoard  a  vessel  for 
Gibraltar^  and  sets  out  himself  to  travel  by  land  for 
Tangier — villany  of  his  Jew  companion — Account 
of  a  great  Moorish  saint — Description  of  the  coun- 
try— of  the  towns  of  el  Ksebbah  and  Saffy. 

Having  recovered  my  strength,  so  as  to  be  able 
to  undertake  a  journey  by  land,  and  being  desirous 
of  viewing  that  part  of  the  empire  of  Morocco 
which  hes  between  Mogadore  and  Tangier,  and  also 
to  visit  the  American  Consul  General  residing  at 
that  place,  in  order  to  make  effectual  arrangements 
for  the  redemption  of  the  remainder  of  my  unfortu- 
nate crew,  should  they  be  yet  alive,  l  shipped  my 
companions  on  board  a  Genoese  schooner  that  navi- 
gated under  the  English  flag,  bound  for  Gibraltar, 
where  I  intended  to  meet  them.  I  drew  bills  on  my 
friend,  Mr.  Horatio  Sprague,  of  Gibraltar,  for  the 
amount  of  cash  actually  expended  by  Mr.  Willshire 
in  obtaining  our  redemption,  and  in  furnishing  us 
with  clothing,  though  he  had  given,  both  to  me  and 
my  men,  many  articles  of  his  own  clothing,  for  which 
he  would  not  receive  payment,  nor  would  he  accept 
of  any  compensation  for  his  trouble,  for  our  board, 
nor  for  the  extraordinary  expenses  incurred  in  con- 
sequence of  his  exertions  to  render  us  every  assist- 
ance, as  well  as  every  service  and  comfort  in  his 
power,  during  the  whole  of  our  stay  with  him  for 
about  two  months. 

454  CAPTAIN  Riley's  narrative. 

Elio  Zagury,  the  Jew  whom  I  have  before  men- 
tioned, was  also  going  to  set  out  for  Tangier  by  landi 
and  as  my  friend  did  not  wish  me  to  be  troubled  with 
the  arrangements  for  provisions,  &c.  on  the  road, 
he  agreed  with  Zagury,  for  him  to  furnish  me  with 
every  thing  necessary  during  the  journey,  except  a 
bed,  and  paid  him  the  amount  agreed  on,  before- 
hand, which  was  a  handsome  sum.  ' 

On  the  4th  day  of  January,  1816,  all  being  pre- 
viously prepared,  the  schooner  sailed  with  Mr.  Sa- 
vage, Burns,  Clark,  and  Horace  on  board.  After 
seeing  her  safe  out  of  the  harbour,  I  went,  accom- 
panied by  Mr.  Willshire,  into  the  Jews'  town,  to  the 
house  of  old  Zagury,  where  I  took  my  leave  of  the 
Jew  priest  before  mentioned,  and  we  proceeded 
without  the  northern  city  gate,  where  the  Jews  are 
permitted  to  mount  their  mules  or  asses.  I  then 
found  that  the  mule  on  which  I  was  to  travel,  was 
already  loaded  with  two  large  trunks,  one  raattrass, 
and  provisions  in  proportion,  and  was  told  by 
Zagury  that  I  must  get  on  the  top  of  this  cargo,  and 
ride  the  best  way  1  could,  as  he  should  procure  no 
other  mule  on  my  account.  I  was  not  at  all  pleased 
at  this  plan,  but  my  friend  told  me  it  was  only  a 
Jew's  trick,  and  such  a  one  as  every  man  may  expect 
to  be  served  who  has  any  dealings  with  those  vil- 
lains: he  then  ordered  his  own  mule  to  be  brought 
for  me,  which  was  ready  saddled  in  the  gateway, 
and  kept  there,  I  believe,  for  the  purpose,  antici- 
pating deceit  on  the  part  of  the  Jew ;  though  in  this, 
as  in  every  other  instance,  he  endeavoured  to  lighten,. 
a^  much  as  possible,  the  weight  of  the  obligations 


he  had  laid  me  under.  His  mule  was  one  of  the 
handsomest  and  finest  I  had  ever  seen — to  have  re- 
fused riding  it  at  that  time,  would  have  been  to 
doubt  his  friendship — so  I  mounted  the  mule,  and 
proceeded  northward  in  company  with  Mr.  Will- 
shire  and  his  trusty  friend,  Rais  bel  Cossim,  on 
horseback.  We  rode  on,  conversing  together  for 
about  two  hours,  along  the  sand-beach,  when  we 
stopped  a  few  moments,  and  took  some  refresh- 
ments. It  was  there  I  took  my  leave  of  my  bene- 
factor. This  painful  parting,  I  shall  not  attempt  to 
describe ;  a  last  look  was  at  lensfth  taken,  and  a  final 
adieu  uttered,  when  he  rode  back  towards  the  city, 
and  I  proceeded  on  ray  journey.  We  went  silently 
along,  and  mounted  up  the  bank ;  our  company  con- 
sisted of  young  Zagury;  an  old  Jew  named  David; 
a  Jew  servant;  two  Moors,  who  were  the  mule- 
teers, and  an  imperial  soldier  for  our  guide,  well 
mounted  on  a  high-spirited  horse,  and  fully  armed: 
he  was  a  fine-looking  fellow,  though  half  negro,  and 
possessed  all  that  suavity  of  manners,  so  conspicu- 
ous in  a  first-rate  Moor  or  Arab.  From  these  sol- 
diers, the  emperor  chooses  his  Alcayds  and  officers 
for  the  army :  if  they  only  possess  talents  and 
bravery,  their  colour  is  disregarded.  The  Jews 
called  him  Alcayd,  by  way  of  making  themselves 
appear  more  respectable,  and  me  they  styled  el 
Tibib  del  Sultan^  or  the  Sultan's  doctor. 

We  proceeded  on  till  near  dark  through  a  dreary 
country,  when  we  came  to  the  Omlays^  or  three 
springs;  there  we  found  a  number  of  travellers 
watering  their  camels,  mules,  and  asses.     Having 

456  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

let  our  beasts  drink,  we  turned  aside  a  little  to  the 
south,  in  a  ploughed  field,  near  a  few  stone-houses, 
and  pitched  for  the  niofht.  We  had  a  bell  tent, 
which  was  a  very  good  one,  made  of  two  thick- 
nesses of  canvass;  it  was  large  enough  to  contain 
two  bed-spreads  out,  and  very  tight,  and  left  plenty 
of  room  besides  for  our  other  things.  We  had  with 
us  a  box  containing  tea,  coffee,  sugar,  &:c.  coals  to 
make  a  fire,  and  all  the  utensils  necessary  for  cook- 
ing :  so  we  had  a  cup  of  tea,  and  ate  some  coos- 
coo-soo  for  our  supper,  and  went  to  sleep  very  com- 
fortably. The  soldier  and  the  muleteers  slept  out- 
side the  tent  on  the  ground,  wrapped  up  only  in 
their  haicks :  this  is  the  constant  practice  of  the 
Moors  and  Arabs  when  travelling,  and  they  wonder 
that  people  of  other  nations  do  not  prefer  that 
method  to  any  other :  they  carry  this  custom  so  far, 
that  many  of  the  male  inhabitants  of  the  cities 
sleep  on  the  tops  of  their  houses  (which  are  flat)  in 
preference  to  sleeping  on  their  mattrasses  under 

At  daylight  on  the  morning  of  the  5th,  all  our 
company  were  in  a  bustle,  being  busily  engaged  in 
striking  our  tent,  and  loading  the  mules,  while  a  cup 
of  coffee  was  preparing,  and  some  eggs  boiling  for 
our  breakfast;  and  we  set  off  on  our  journey  long 
before  sunrise.  We  travelled  along  this  day  on 
uneven  ground,  through  groves  of  Arga  trees,  which 
grew  thereabouts  spontaneously,  and  were  then 
loaded  with  the  oil-nut  of  various  sizes  and  colours, 
from  a  deep  green  through,  to  a  lively  yellow.  The 
very  shrubs  and  bushes  among  which  our  path  lay, 


were  in  blossom,  and  diffused  a  most  delightful  fra- 
grance.    We  still  heard  the  roaring  of  the  troubled 
ocean,  dashing  against   this  inhospitable  coast,  and 
which  had  been  constantly  dinning  my  ears  for  more 
than  two  months;  for  it  being  urged   towards  this 
coast  by  the  continual   trade-winds,  it  never  ceases 
its  loud  roarings,  which  mav  generally  be  heard  at 
the  distance  of  from  twenty  to  thirty  miles  from  the 
sea.     The  Atlas  mountains  were  still  in  viev/,  whose 
pointed  tops,   now  covered   with  snow,   seemed   to 
glitter  in  the  sun,  though  at  a  very  great  distance. 
About  sunset,  we  came  near  a  village  consisting  of 
about    twenty  stone-houses,   flat    roofed,  one  story 
high,  and  as  many  more  built  with  reeds  or  sticks,  in 
form  of  a  sugar-loaf,  with  a  small  mosque  or   place 
of  worship  in   the  midst.     Near  this  village,  which 
was  not  walled  in,  the  first  I  had  seen  of  the  kind, 
we  pitched  our  tent,   and  soon  after  this  was  done, 
a  great  number  of  unarmed  Moors,  probably  four  or 
five  hundred,  came  by  turns  to  look  at  us,   and  in- 
quire who  I  was.     At  the  same  time  th^  owner  of 
the  village  sent  to  tell  us  we  were  welcome,  and  that 
he  was  sorry  it  was  not  in  his  power  to  furnish  bar- 
ley for  our  mules,  for  his  whole  crops  had  been  cut 
off  by  the  locusts  for  the  last  three  years :  that  he 
had  bought  twenty  ducats  worth  that  day,  but  it 
was  all  gone,  as  an  unusual  number  of  travellr  /' 
bad  called  on  him;  however,  he  sent  us  a  Ir*         ^ 
s:ood  mutton,  which  I  was  pressed  to  acce     ,         , 

about  two  dozen  01  effffs:  our  Moors  were      / 

1-    1      •  1  '  w  ^  1    /.       -'  ^Iso  sup- 

plied with  coos-coo-soo.     1  learned    fr  ^^    r, 

that  this  man  was  esteemed  a  great  f  ^-^  t      m  V 

3n  '  '  ^ 


Moors ;  that  bis  name  v/as  JMohamued  llfadesba ; 
that  he  taught  ali  uious  Moors  who  wished  it,  to 
read  in  the  Koran,  and  the  Mohammedan  laws;  that 
he  generally  had  from  one  to  three  hundred 
scholars  or  students,  who  came  from  every  part  of 
the  empire;  that  he  taught  ail  who  came,  and  sup- 
plied them  wldi  provisions  gratis — that  his  wife  and 
one  daughter  prepared  the  victuals  and  cooked  for 
all  those  people  without  any  assistance  whatever, 
which  was  considered  by  the  Moors  a  continual 
miracle,  and  this,  Zaguiy  assured  me,  he  for  his 
own  part  firmly  believed :  that  he  entertained  all 
travellers  who  chose  to  call  on  him,  free  of  expense; 
but,  added  he,  where  all  his  property  comes  from  to 
enable  him  to  pay  these  enormous  expenses,  nobody 

It  was  soon  reported  about  that  an  English  doctor 
was  in  the  tent,  and  the  old   saint  sent  and  begged 
me  to  call   and  see  him :  so  taking  Zagury  with  me 
to   act    as   interpreter,    I  was   conducted    by   some 
Moors  to  his  presence,  where  I  was  welcomed  by  a 
withered  old  man,  who  was  sealed  on  a  mat  on  the 
outside,  and  leaning  against  the  wall  of  his  house — ■ 
it  was  the  saint:  he  requested  me  to  sit  down  near 
him,  and  then  inquired  of  Zagury  who  i  was :  Za- 
gury satisfied  him  on  that  point,  and  gave  him  be- 
sides a  short  sketch  of  my  late  disasters — the  saint 
8^^'^  he  was  a  friend  to  Christians  and  men  of  every 
other  religion ;    that  w'e  were  all  children  of  the 
same  ht/xvenly  Father,  and  ought  to  treat  each  other 
like  brotl^rs;  he  also  remarked,  that  God  was  great 
and  good,  air}  had  been  verv  merciful  to  me,  for 


which  I  ought  to  he  thankful  tlie  remainder  of  ray 
life.     He  next  informed  me,  that  he  was  very  lame 
in  his   legs,  occasioned  in  the  first  place  by  a  stone 
falling  on  one  of  his  feet,  that  had  lamed  and  laid 
him  up  for  three  or  four  months,  and  when  he  had 
so  far  recovered  as  to  be  able  to   ride  out  on  his 
mule,  the  animal  fell  down  with  him,  and  injured  his 
lame  foot  awd  'leg  so  much  that  he  had  not  since 
been  able  to  use  it :  this,  he  said,  happened  about  a 
year  ago,  and  within  the  last  few  months,  his  other 
leg  had  become  atfectrd,   and  he  had  now  lost  the 
use  of  both  of  them,  which  were  extremely  painful: 
he  said  he  did  not  murmur  at  his  lameness,  because 
he  knew  it  came  from  God,  and  was  a  punishment 
for  some   of  his   sins;  yet  he  hoped  the  Almighty 
would    be   merciful,    and   pardon  his   oifences,  and 
permit  him  to  walk  again,*  so  that  he  might  take 
care  of  his  guests,  and  do  more   good  in  the  world: 
he  also  told  me  that  the  number  who  were  then  stu- 
dying the  Sacred  Writings  with  him,  amounted  to 
about  three  hundred.     I  examined  his  legs;  they 
were  very  thin,  and  yet  seemed  to  be  consuming 
with   a  feverish  heat;  no  skin  was  broken,  and  !• 
concluded   that  he  laboured    under  an   inveterate 
chronic    disorder,  particularly  as    the   joints  were 
much  swelled.     I  asked  him,  if  he  had  ever  applied 
any  thing  as  a  remedy,  or  taken  any  medicine  for 
this  disorder;  he  said,  no,  except  that  he  had  bound 
some   Arabic  writing  round  them,  furnished  by  a 
man  eminently  skilled  in  the  science  of  witchcraft; 
that  he  had  also  kept  them  wet  with  oil,  but  had  re- 
reived  no  benefit  whatever  from  either  of  those  ap- 


plications :  he  further  said,  he  knew  some  men 
were  endowed  with  the  gift  of  healing,  and  hoped 
that  I  could  prescribe  something  that  Avould  ease 
his  pains.  1  told  him,  that  I  felt  disposed  to  render 
him  all  the  service  in  my  power;  that  I  would  see 
what  mediciiie  I  had,  and  would  consider  of  his 
case :  then  assuming  the  air  of  a  quack  doctor,  I 
retired  to  my  tent  with  a  very  thoughtful  counte- 
nance. Our  conversation  was  carried  on  by  the 
help  of  Zagury  as  an  interpreter.  I  really  wished 
to  administer  some  relief  to  this  good  man,  who  was 
afflicted  uith  such  a  painful  disorder,  and  accord- 
ingly prepared  some  soap  pills,  which  was  the  only 
medicine  I  had  with  me,  and  sent  them  to  him,  with 
directions  how  to  take  them.  I  also  advised  hira  to 
discontinue  the  use  of  oil ;  to  rub  his  limbs  frequently 
with  iiannel-cloths,  in  order  to  promote  the  due  cir- 
culation of  the  fluids;  to  endeavour  to  walk  every 
day  with  the  assistance  of  two  men,  using  his  legs 
as  much  as  possible,  even  if  they  did  pain  him,  and 
to  bind  them  up  in  fine  salt  every  night,  while  the 
heat  continued :  this,  I  fancied,  might  allay  the 
fever.  I  also  directed  a  drink  to  be  made  for  hira, 
by  boiling  the  roots  of  some  particular  herbs  in 
water,  and  thus  forming  a  kind  of  decoction.  Having 
explained  the  nature  of  his  disorder  to  him,  in  the 
best  manner  l  was  able,  which  gave  hira  some  en- 
couragement, I  retired  to  my  tent.  Many  of  the 
Moors  came  and  wanted  me  to  prescribe  something 
for  their  various  disorders,  which  I  did  according  to 
the  best  of  my  judgment,  and  the  medicines  I  had 
"within  my  power.     Among  the  rest,  was  a  poor  old 


gray-headed  man ;  he  came  near,  and  thrusting  his 
head  under  the  tent,  cried  out — Tibib,  Tibib:  (doc- 
tor, doctor:)  my  guard  was  going  to  drive  him 
away,  but  I  told  him  to  let  him  alone,  that  I  might 
find  out  what  ailed  him,  for  he  seemed  to  be  in  great 
distress — so  I  told  Zagury  to  ask  him  what  his  dis- 
order was:  this  he  made  known  without  ceremony — 
he  said,  he  had  been  a  husband  to  three  wives ;  that 
two  of  them,  who  had  died,  loved  him  exceedingly ; 
that  his  present  wife  was  very  young,  fat,  and  hand- 
some, and  yet  she  was  so  cold,  that  notwithstanding 
all  his  caresses,  she  could  not  return  his  love:  his 
case  was,  indeed,  a  very  plain  one,  but  to  prescribe 
a  remedy,  needed  some  reflection — so  the  Jew  told 
him  to  go  away,  and  return  in  half  an  hour.  When 
he  returned,  I  pretended  to  sympathize  with  him  in 
his  afflictions,  and  recommended  that  he  should  set 
her  about  no  kind  of  work  ;  that  he  should  entreat 
her  kindly;  feed  her  on  the  dish  called  Shanah; 
i.  e.  peas  baked  in  an  oven,  and  swimming  in  beePs- 
marrow,  with  a  plenty  of  soft  boiled  eggs  and  rich 
spices  in  her  coos-coo-soo,  &c.  &c. — ^that  he  should 
join  with  her  in  all  her  repasts,  and  chew  opium  him* 
self,  if  he  could  procure  any,  and  by  no  means  t© 
have  intercourse  with  her  oftener  than  once  in  two 
weeks.  He  promised  very  faithfully  to  obey  my 
directions,  though  he  did  not  seem  to  relish  the  last 
item  of  advice;  but  I  assured  him,  with  much  affect- 
ed gravity,  that  I  had  done  my  very  best ;  so  he  left 
me  v/ith  a  shower  of  blessings  for  my  kindness,  after 
having  bestowed  two  dozen  of  fresh  egga  on  my 
Jew  interpreter  for  his  trouble.     The  Moors  who 

462  CAPTAIN  riley's  narrative. 

were  the^'piipils  of  the  saint,  joined  in  prayer,  and 
chanted  over  sacred  poetry  for  about  an  hour  on  ac- 
count of  his  disorder,  begging  of  God  to  heal  their 
benefactor,  &c. 

January  the  6th,  we  started  early  in  the  morning, 
after  I  had  taken  leave  of  the  good  old  man.  We 
proceeded  on  our  journey,  descending  the  hills  to 
the  north  about  half  an  hour,  when  we  saw  one  of 
the  Moors  who  waited  on  the  old  man  the  night 
before,  running  after  us,  and  hallooing  very  loudly 
to  make  us  stop,  which  we  did,  and  he  soon  came  up, 
bringing  Zagury's  gold  watch,  which  he  had  put 
under  his  head  the  night  before  on  the  ground  where 
our  tent  was  pitched,  and  had  left  it  through  forge t- 
fulness  and  haste :  this  watch,  together  with  an  ele- 
gant gold  seal,  chain,  and  trinkets,  was  worth,  at 
least,  three  hundred  dollars;  the  Moor  generously 
refused  any  compensation  for  his  trouble,  and  I  told 
Zagury,  it  was  well  for  him  that  the  people  where 
he  left  it  were  not  Jews :  to  this  he  assented,  and 
said  that  he  believed  that  the  saint  was  the  most 
honest  man  in  the  world. 

After  travelling  about  two  hours  in  a  northerly 
direction,  we  came  near  the  ruins,  or  rather  the 
walls  of  an  old  town  or  fortress — it  was  situated  on 
the  left  bank  of  the  river  Tensift :  the  walls  were 
built  in  a  square  form ;  were  about  one  mile  in  cir- 
cuit, and  flanked  with  thirty  small  towers,  with  em- 
brazures,  where  cannon  might  have  been  mounted. 
A.  part  of  the  southern  wall  had  fallen  down;  it 
v^as  very  thick,  and  within  was  nothing  but  a  heap 
of  stones  and  ruins.     On  Inquiry,